Measuring, Monitoring, and Mitigating Urban Heat with an Urban Weather Station Network and Mass Tree Plantings
As a part of Louisville Tree Week (Oct. 7-14, 2023), UofL is excited to offer this online seminar to everyone.
Mitigation efforts for Urban Heat Islands (UHIs) have been the subject of various atmospheric modeling, observational, and regional policy research projects for many years. The city of Louisville, in particular has been the focus of such modeling studies as well as targeted field studies that assess the UHI and other urban-related health hazards and evaluate mitigation efforts.
The success of UHI mitigation efforts (e.g., greening, cool pavements, etc.) largely depends on accurate measurements of the UHI, including trends in its magnitude and spatial extent. To accomplish this task in the city of Louisville, five weather stations were deployed across an approximately 30 km stretch over Jefferson County in spring and summer of 2023. Another component of the network is a high-density array across a “pocket park” (Founder’s Square) in the urban core of the city, such that six weather stations were deployed across a 50 m x 50 m portion of a city block.
This park-scale network not only serves as an urban core node in the county-wide network, but it also captures the meteorological variation across a small site that is the target of an intense urban greening initiative, the Trager MicroForest Project. A fixed research station is also located in the center of the park and serves as a baseline for the other weather stations. The park network was installed in June and July of 2023.
This presentation by UofL professor of Geographic & Environmental Sciences, William Gunter, will provide a brief review of county-wide network results over the summer of 2023 as well as the role of the trees and green spaces in mitigating urban heat. Data from a targeted deployment, where a portable weather station was deployed in a nearby asphalt parking lot during a heat wave, will also be explored.