Extreme heat isn’t just uncomfortable. It kills more Americans than any other weather event.

This summer, dozens of citizen scientists from Boulder will help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) understand how urban heat islands exacerbate the deadly effects of extreme heat. Equipped with sensors mounted on their cars or bikes, the volunteers will traverse their neighborhoods to record temperature and humidity at precise times throughout one of the hottest days of the year (which was not yet determined at press time).

The NOAA Climate Program Office is working with the National Integrated Heat Health Information System and CAPA Strategies to map the hottest part of 14 U.S. cities and counties, including Boulder, as well as Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Our nation faces a climate crisis that has exacerbated inequities for low-income communities and communities of color,” says NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “NOAA is helping communities measure their  hottest places so that they can use this information to inform strategies to reduce the unhealthy and deadly effects of extreme heat and help us build a climate-ready nation.”

The study will help scientists develop hyper-local heat models so they can strategize mitigation options specific to each region.

Learn more: nihhis.cpo.noaa.gov

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