WEATHER

Volunteers, scientists to use technology to find hottest areas in Salt Lake City

Jul 13, 2023, 6:46 PM | Updated: 6:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A team of volunteers and scientists will find and measure the hottest neighborhoods in Salt Lake City Saturday.

The group will participate in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s urban heat island mapping campaign. Rowland Hall science teacher Rob Wilson is a lead volunteer in the effort.

“A team of volunteers will drive 10 routes at three different times of day, from 6 a.m.-7 a.m. Ten teams will drive 10 different routes,” Wilson said.

He called the work important because heat is the leading weather-related cause of death in the U.S.

“People get to participate with a study about their own city and to do something about, what I would say is one of the major events in our city, which are heat waves, and they’ve been bad in recent years, and we can only expect they’ll get worse,” Wilson said.

The volunteers will find high temperatures. On Thursday the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat watch for areas along the Wasatch Front, Tooele and Rush valleys, and the West Desert. That will take effect Sunday afternoon and remain in place through Monday evening.

‘Blazing hot’: Warnings, watches issued as excessive heat makes its way to Utah

The citizen scientists will use sensors and satellites attached to cars to identify urban heat islands around Salt Lake City.

“They’re going to attach a sensor to their car and the sensor connects to satellites,” Wilson said “It transmits the time and location, the air temperature, and humidity.”

The team will record their findings in every neighborhood of Salt Lake City.  They expect to find many urban heat islands on the west side.

NOAA map

NOAA will work with citizen scientists to map urban heat islands in multiple cities and counties in 14 states this summer. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

“The area that’s covered by tree shade is most dense on the east side and less dense out here,” Wilson explained.

With less shade, more direct sunlight, and heat-trapping surfaces, the more dangerous heat becomes.

“Prolonged heat is very stressful to the human body and the reason it becomes lethal is because in a heat wave, where it’s chronic over many days at a time, the body doesn’t have the chance to rest from the heat,” he said. “It’s always resisting it.”

The group hopes by identifying the hotspots, they can keep people healthier and give those areas more ideas or resources to stay safe.

“We’re interested in evaluating what the underserved neighborhoods are experiencing and then figure out what can we do to improve that,” Wilson said.

The heat mapping takes place Saturday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. They’ll be driving slowly around the city while they collect data.

KSL 5 TV Live

Weather

A firefighter hoses down the garage of Noel Piri's home that was destroyed by the Hawarden Fire in ...

Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press

Last Sunday was the hottest day on Earth in all recorded history

On Sunday, the Earth sizzled to the hottest day ever measured by humans, yet another heat record shattered in the past couple of years, according to the European climate service Copernicus Tuesday.

3 minutes ago

the sky is bright as the run rises, showing the outine of a tree...

Larry D. Curtis

Weather alert: Heat advisory issued for Utah’s Pioneer Day

As Utahns gather to celebrate Pioneer Day and await a hope-for announcement from the International Olympic Committee, nature is going to bring the heat.

1 day ago

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15, leading to multiple vehicles b...

Kiersten Nunez

Heat causes Interstate 15 buckling, damages multiple vehicles in Davis County

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15, leading to multiple vehicles being damaged due to buckling pavement and large chunks of concrete.

9 days ago

Veterinarians advise pet owners to keep pets out of direct sunlight, and keep them hydrated. (KSL T...

Brianna Chavez

Reminders for pet owners as triple-digit heat continues

As the triple-digit heat continues, pet experts want pet owners to be mindful and cautious when going outside.

11 days ago

DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: A sign reading "Extreme Heat Danger" warns visitors during a lo...

Alex Cabrero

Doctors issue warning to Utahns because of record 100+ degree heat

Intermountain Health held a news conference Friday morning warning people to be careful in recent hundred-degree temperatures.

11 days ago

Cristian Ortega, from Orem, takes a water break in the shade while working on construction at the U...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Records fall as heat wave grips Utah

Utah temperature records started to fall Thursday as a "heat dome" settles over the state.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Volunteers, scientists to use technology to find hottest areas in Salt Lake City