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What’s urban heat island effect and how is it impacting downtown Dayton?

Published: Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 1:54 PM

Meteorologist Jesse Maag explains why cities like Dayton are often warmer than the surrounding rural areas.

We all know it’s getting hot out here this weekend, but it may be even hotter if you live in downtown Dayton. This is due to a weather phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect. 

>>Hot and humid weekend

During the summer, there are several factors that not only increase the temperature, but trap the heat in a city. For example, darker industrial materials such as asphalt and buildings absorb solar radiation more efficiently than grass and crops found in rural areas. In addition to the sunlight, the vast number of cars and factories concentrated within the city can contribute to the heat. 

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Finally, buildings can act as a barrier preventing the wind from stirring up the air. With buildings, as opposed to farmland, you’ll find more surface area available to absorb and hold heat as well. As a result, the heat is trapped within the city even after the sun has set.

>>5-Day Forecast

Generally, the difference in temperature on a hot, sunny day will be between 2 to 5 degrees. In a larger city like New York or Los Angeles, the temperatures difference between rural and urban areas can be as large as 20 degrees.