Urban heat island in full force this evening

The graphic below shows metro temperatures shortly after 8pm tonight and one thing stands out: it’s hotter in the city than in the suburbs and outlying areas (by as much as 10-14 degrees)!  This is known as the “urban heat island effect” and is typical in major cities. Heat buildup during the day dissipates much less quickly from cities than rural areas as buildings, asphalt/concrete, and “urbanization” in general releases heat more slowly than more rural areas where there tends to be more grass, trees, and other vegetation.

Not only does it retain the heat longer, but the mere presence of man-made objects and surfaces will often keep those areas warmer throughout the night, thus having warmer low temperatures than the surrounding rural areas.  Often, you’ll see MemphisWeather.net provide a certain low temperature in our forecast, then also include a cooler low for “outlying areas” or the “suburbs.”  Now you know why! We understand the effects of the urban heat island, and now you do too!

The urban heat island is easy to spot in these 8:15pm temps around the Memphis metro.
While the airport and midtown and still in the 80s, temps are as much as 10-14 degrees cooler in outlying areas.

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