Volunteers Seek to Find Hottest Parts of Boston

The Boston area is bracing for another potential heat wave this week, bringing back health worries for those living without air conditioning.

In cities, hot weather like this is magnified by what’s known as the "Urban Heat Island" effect. Essentially the streets and buildings retain heat more than say rural areas covered by grass and trees.

On one day earlier this month, partially because of this warming effect, Boston’s overnight low temperature didn’t dip below 83 degrees. That set a new all time warm overnight low temperature record. And more of this is likely as the world continues to warm in coming decades.

Boston’s Museum of Science wants to learn more about this, locating and mapping which parts of the city retain the most heat. This can be valuable for city planners going forward, as officials plan out where to build parks, or think of other ways to help cut down on the heat getting trapped.

Starting on Monday, the Museum will lead a group of volunteers around Boston, Cambridge and Brookline, measuring the temperature at various points during the day. That data will be analysed and combined with data from other hot days later this summer, before being presented for review in September.

Other cities across the country, including Worcester, are also taking part in this project led by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

To learn how you can take part in the data collection, click here.

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