Analysis of Weather Data Collected From Two Locations in a Small Urban Community
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The heat island effect is a well known feature in the microclimate of urban areas, and is considered to be the difference between the urban area and its surroundings. While this study only employs two instruments, the authors are not aware of any studies which examine the differences in temperature between an instrument inside a town the size of Sedalia and its surroundings by collecting hourly information. We attempt to infer here the impact of Sedalia, Missouri, the State Fair Community College campus, and the state fairgrounds on the temperature patterns for a small region of west-central Missouri. The two stations, one on the grounds of State Fair Community College and the other at the Sedalia Airport were used. Temperature, precipitation, cloudiness, and wind information were gathered hourly between 1 February and 31 March, 2005. The weather station at the regional airport was located 11 km (7 miles) northeast of the campus instrument. Our results indicate that the city has no discernable impact on the distribution of monthly precipitation totals. We found a distinct difference between the local surface temperatures as recorded by each instrument. For the Sedalia area, the temperature differences between the town center and the outside location were approximately 2 - 6oF (1.0 - 3.3o C) warmer, typically, than the surrounding environment, as inferred by these instruments. This difference was as much as 11o F (6oC) when comparing hourly temperature information. Additionally, the difference was larger for clear days and days during which there was little wind.
Transactions of the Missouri Academy of Science Volume 40 p. 47-52