16th Biometeorology and Aerobiology
Fifth Conference on Urban Environment


A case study in resort climatology of Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Anthony J. Brazel, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; and D. A. Hartz and G. M. Heisler

Tourists often utilize weather data as a factor for determining vacation timing and location. Accuracy and perceptions of weather information may impact these decisions. This study: (a) examines temperature and dew points from seven exclusive resorts in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and compares them to official National Weather Service data for the same period, and (b) utilizes a comfort model called OUTCOMES – OUTdoor COMfort Expert System - in a seasonal appraisal of two resorts, one mesic and one xeric vs. the urban-exposed, Sky Harbor International Airport, first-order weather station site in the central Phoenix urban area of Phoenix, Arizona, USA (335 m). Weather recording devices were placed within or immediately adjacent to common use areas of many resorts - the prime recreational sites utilized by guests on most resort properties. Recorded data were compared to that of the official weather information from the airport station which is most accessible to potential tourists through media and websites to assess predicted weather for vacation planning. For the most part, Sky Harbor’s recorded temperatures and even dew points were higher than those recorded at the resorts. We extrapolate our findings to a year round estimate of comfort using weather sites near and more typical of resort landscapes, and the Sky Harbor location, in combination with the OUTCOMES model to refine ideas on comfortable conditions at resorts on a diurnal and seasonal basis. These refined resort climate results are likely to become even more important for the tourist industry to articulate as the urban effects of Phoenix expand, expected climate change occurs in this tourist-sensitive region, and tourists choose alternatives to fall, winter, and spring destinations.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (184K)

Joint Session 1, Human Biometeorology: Thermal Comfort (Joint between the 16th Conference on Biometeorology and Aerobiology and the Fifth Symposium on the Urban Environment)
Wednesday, 25 August 2004, 8:30 AM-9:45 AM

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