Urban Heat Island Effect-Surface – Continuing in March

The Urban Heat Island Effect Intensive Observation Period (IOP) has started. The weather in the Northern Hemisphere has started to get warmer as meteorological spring started March 1. There was an amazing weather situation where I live this past Saturday. You can see in the images on the left that I drove about 20 miles (32 km) from my house in Michigan to the Oak Openings Park in Ohio. There is a warm front stalled across the area.

It was near 40 F (6 C) near my house but in the upper 60s (20 C) at the park. You can see in the right image that there was a warm front between my house and the park. The front did not move much from when I got to the park and left about 45 minutes later.


The weather and temperature can be amazing. As everyone keeps observing air temperature, surface temperature and clouds for the Urban Heat Island/Surface Temperature IOP, I wanted to remind everyone that we have been focusing on grass versus artificial turf on sports fields. I am working with Vasco Mantas of the University of Coimbra in Portugal and George Xian from USGS EROS Data Center in South Dakota to link the GLOBE UHIE campaign to their research study on the impacts of artificial turf and temperature. I have been working with my students at the University of Toledo in my three classes of Weather and Climate, Remote Sensing and Geospatial Technology to take surface temperature and air temperature observations on campus and also around Toledo creating a dense observation concentrations in Toledo, Ohio.

Dr. Farrokh Namjooyan is a researcher working with me at the University of Toledo. She put together the following data for the Urban Heat Island Effect IOP.

I wanted thank everyone who has taken observations this observation year so far. There have been 4,655 surface temperature observation around the world. 117 schools have taken participated in the surface temperature observations while 523 schools have taken air temperature observations with many of the schools having automated weather stations.

Here is some data from Ohio averaging all of the schools that took surface and air temperature for October through December 2021. What do you see in the data? Which is warmer on average, air temperature or surface temperature?


To me it looks like surface temperature is warmer than air temperature in early fall but then there are more days in December when surface temperature is warmer than air temperature.

I love to ice skate. Each winter I make an ice rink in my backyard. I put out plastic on a frame and fill it with water. Then, the cold weather freezes the water and I have an ice rink. Here I am on the rink holding my hockey stick. I use my infrared thermometer to measure the surface temperature of the surface to see if ice will form. What I find is that, at night especially when there are clear skies, that surface temperature can be colder than air temperature. The air temperature can be above freezing but ice can form.


More analysis shows that asphalt, in general, is warmer than grass. You can look at the data on the GLOBE website and see if data you collect matches this.


Please refer to our webpage for the IOP at:

On this webpage, there are instructions for taking the observations, research projects that students have completed and presented in the past, information about the turf versus grass project and my team.

And, I wanted to thank the schools who have participated by taking surface temperature observations.

Al-Habeel Secondary School For Girls At Al-gunfodah
University Of Toledo
Brazil GLOBE v-School
The 24th Seconadry Girls School at Makkah Al-Mukarramah
Ivano-Frankivsk City Environmental Station
OS Mahicno
King Khalid Secondary School at Al-Hofuf
The 97th Secondary Girls School at Jeddah
The 1st Secondary Girls School at Al-Gonfutha
OS Banija
Al-Ofous Secondary School at Al-Bahah
IES Eusebio Barreto
Medicinska škola Ante Kuzmanića
Sankalp Senior Secondary Day Boarding High School
Main Street Intermediate School
2 Intermediate School Abu Arish  At Jazan
OS Dubovac
The first Arqah Secondary school Al-riyadh
Nawan Secondary Girls School at Al-Makhwah
Greece GLOBE v-School
The 1st Secondary Girls School at Sabya
As-Siddiq Secondary School at  Rejal Alma'a
Kaohsiung  Municipal Cianjin Junior High School
Xrobb l-Ghagin
OS Dragojle Jarnevic
The 1st Secondary Girls School at Dhahran
Freeport High School
Alpena Elementary/Middle School
OOU Goce Delcev
SOU Bogdanci
Boston University School of Education GLOBE v-School
National Lo-Tung Senior High School
The 45th Secondary Girls School at Makkah Al-Mukarramah
The 20th  Secondary Girls School at Al-Madinah Al-Monawarah
National Kinmen Senior High School
Osnovna Å¡kola Rugvica
The 9 th Secondary School at Madinah -
Taipei Municipal Wan Fang Senior High School(GLID3I86)
Asma bint aomis basic school
Ekonomska i trgovačka škola Dubrovnik
Graditeljska, prirodoslovna i rudarska Å¡kola
Crestwood High School
OS Valentin Klarin
OS Josip Pupacic
Hsin Tien Senior High School
St. Francis Primary School (GLIDMGF2)
Gozo College Xewkija Primary School
Hafsah bint sirin basic school
Srednja skola Petrinja
Perkins Local Schools
St. Patrick Catholic School
Community Roots Academy
Srednja škola Braća Radić
St.Michael School
The 18th Intermediate Girls School at Makkah Al-Mukarramah
The Affiliated Senior High school of NCU
II. osnovna skola Cakovec
OS Ivana Kukuljevica
OS Sime Budinica
New Jersey GLOBE v-School
Gozo College, Rabat Primary School
Maria Regina College Mosta Secondary School
SOU "Naum Naumovski-Borche"
St. Peter's Elementary School
Colegio de la Mesopotamia
Montverde Academy
Haripur Primary School
Gozo College Secondary School
Gozo College, Middle School
St Thomas More College - Zejtun Primary B
OS Zadarski otoci
Ben Gurion primary school
OS prof. Franje Viktora Signjara
Srednja Å¡kola ÄŒakovec
Sawda Um AlMumineen School (5-12)
Ekonomsko-birotehnicka i trgovacka skola Zadar
Colegio Ciudad Vieja (GLID2MH5)
Defiance Elementary School
Saint Andrew Catholic School
McKinley STEMM Academy
St. Francis Primary School
Navarre Elementary School (USOHQ4L6)
Watkins Mill High School
Gozo College, San Lawrenz Primary, aka The Friendly School
West Carteret High School (GLID6IBL)
Science Club Huechulafquen (After School)
St. Peter's High School
University Of Alaska Fairbanks (USAKSWHS)
SOU Josif Josifovski
Geitonas School
Gimnazija Matija Mesic
Brazil Secondary School
Jungil High School
Mingdao High School
Dvora Omer
Millcreek West Unity Local Schools (Hilltop)
Keelung Municipal Anle Senior High School
Said bin nasser alkindi basic school
Skola Za Medicinske Sestre Vrapce
Escuela No. 46 Serafín Rivas
Jesup W. Scott High School
IS 223 - The Montauk School
Elementary C  Der Hana
The name of the reporting school or other institution
Kalispell Middle School
Moharimet School
Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Collège Jules FERRY
Clay High School
Altraif basic school
The Affiliated High School of National Chung Hsing University

More Blog Entries