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New ‘Heat Islands’ Study Helps Regional Partners Address Health and Infrastructure Issues

A green field at sunrise
Written by Staff

If the temperature downtown seems much hotter on warm days than the official temperature says, you’re probably right, at least according to <a recent study by the Houston Harris Heat Action Team, or H3AT>, which is a national project to measure the heat differences in major metropolitan areas.  The study, which was conducted at three different times of the day on August 7, 2020 in Houston and Harris County by a team of volunteers, found that depending on what part of town one is in, the temperature can vary by up to 20 degrees.  In the Houston summer, for example, this can mean a difference between 90- and 110-degree temperatures, depending on where one lives.  The H3AT study found that the famed “heat island” in built-out areas of the city were warmer than areas with more exposed ground and dense vegetation, such as undeveloped parts of the city, or areas where development included heat-mitigation such as light-colored roofs and reflective, “cool” pavements.  These heat maps will hopefully help the City of Houston, Harris County, and its partners to address heat-related health and infrastructure issues across the region.

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