Sixth Symposium on the Urban Environment
AMS Forum: Managing our Physical and Natural Resources: Successes and Challenges


The effects of an urban heat island on two small cities in New York

Christopher Thuman, New York State Univ., Oswego, NY

The effects of the urban heat island have been carefully studied and documented from the early 20th century to the present. However, to this date there have been few projects performed to determine the extent of urban heat islands in the northeastern region of the United States. Even less research has been conducted examining heat islands in small cities having a population less than 15,000 people. This study examines the extent of an urban heat island in Syracuse, New York (4303'N, -7606'W), a city containing 143,101 people in 2004 where a heat island is expected and in Fulton, New York (4319'N, -7624'W), a much smaller city (11,643 people in 2004) by both population and surface area. After examining Syracuse and Fulton for an urban heat island during the summer months of June and July, the results did show a heat island present for the majority of occasions. A heat island having a magnitude greater than 3C was found in Fulton during 5 out of 13 experimental trials, while Syracuse displayed a heat island greater than 2.8C in 6 out of 11 trials. Further, results were found indicating that the heat island in Syracuse had a peak magnitude of 6.5C on 24 June 2005 and 4 July 2005 while Fulton was capable of producing a heat island peak magnitude of 5.2C on 28 June 2005. These results are somewhat surprising and not expected for cities the size of Syracuse and Fulton. By examining observations from the KSYR and KFZY ASOS reporting stations located near Syracuse and Fulton respectively, it was able to be determined on a preliminary basis that surface observations of temperature at Syracuse Hancock International Airport and the Oswego County Airport near Fulton are representative of rural temperatures and do not appear to display the effects of the urban phenomenon.

Joint Poster Session 1, Urban Environment Posters (JOINT WITH 6th Symposium on the Urban Environment and FORUM ON MANAGING OUR PHYSICAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES)
Monday, 30 January 2006, 2:30 PM-2:30 PM, Exhibit Hall A2

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