BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Back on August 29, at 3 p.m., 30 volunteers set out in their cars equipped with special thermometers connected to laptop computers.
“They’re going to be driving around the city and mapping temperatures throughout all of Baltimore,” said NOAA researcher David Herring.
In the heat island survey, parts of east Baltimore hit 103 degrees, while at Leakin Park, it was 87. A 16 degree difference.
“At the same time, on the same day, which is pretty amazing,” said earth and climate scientist Jeremy Hoffman, who headed up the survey.
The heat islands have been charted on a NOAA funded map, which will likely match medic calls for cases of heat stroke, as other cities have found. For city planners, it might mean more surfaces that reflect heat rather than absorb it, or areas where more tree cover can shade hard surfaces.
“We’ve unwittingly designed our cities to amplify heat,” Hoffman added. “We’re able to now use this information to make better decisions about how we further develop these cities as they grow into the future.”