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Map Raleigh’s urban heat to help neighbors now and as climate changes

IMPORTANT NOTE: Raleigh Convergence is no longer publishing, as of April 1, 2022. Read more.

The City of Raleigh, state and local partners will map the hottest parts of the city — and you can help.

The work will help vulnerable communities avoid heat-related illness and death. Those concerns are heightened with climate change.

The project, ongoing in 11 other states, will work with volunteers to help map areas that are hotter than other parts of the city.

The effort will likely take place sometime from mid-June to late July, based on historic weather data.

How it works: Volunteers and local partners will have heat sensors mounted on their cars or bikes and move around during different parts of the day, which will “record temperature, humidity, time, and the volunteers’ location every second.”

Who: Partners with the city include the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Durham County, the NC Climate Office, NC Museum of Life and Science, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Activate Good, and others.

Why it matters: A part of the Raleigh Community Climate Action Plan is identifying and mitigating these heat islands.

NOAA scientists say some parts of a developed city can be 15-20 degrees hotter.

“Cities from past campaigns have used the heat maps to inform heat-mitigation decisions, educate residents and policymakers, and direct research on effective solutions,” the announcement says.

The city announcement also said that hotter areas “are often home to poorer communities of color,” due to a history of systemic racism in lending and housing policies.

“As climate change brings worsening heat waves, the information from these campaigns will help bring local and equitable solutions to those facing the greatest threat,” said Hunter Jones, Climate and Health Project Manager with NOAA’s Climate Program Office, in the announcement.

To volunteer for the project, sign up here.

Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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