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Estimating the Urban Heat Island in residential areas in the Netherlands using observations by weather amateurs

D Wolters, T Brandsma

A better quantification of the urban heat islands (UHIs) in the Netherlands is urgently needed given the heat stress–related problems in the recent past combined with the expected temperature rise for the coming decades. Professional temperature observations in Dutch urban areas are scarce, however. Therefore, this research explores the use of observations from weather stations that were installed and maintained by weather amateurs. From a set of over 200 stations, suitable and representative data have been selected from 20 stations, using a set of objective selection criteria that are based on metadata. One year of data (January–December 2010) was considered. From these data, estimates have been obtained of the magnitude of the UHI in Dutch low-rise residential areas. A positive relation (linear model with r2~0.7) was derived between the summeraveraged UHI and the (neighborhood scale) population density around the observational sites. It was found that the UHI in summer is strongest in nighttime conditions and that it increases with decreasing wind speed, decreasing cloud cover, and increasing sea level air pressure. The summer-averaged UHI was 0.9°C. During nighttime in a relatively warm 1-month subperiod of the summer, the average UHI was 1.4°C. During spring and autumn, the UHI was lower than in summer; during winter, no significant UHI was observed. The agreement in results among the different stations and the accordance of the magnitude and variation of the observed UHI with those described in the literature show that automatic observations from weather amateurs can be of sufficient quality for atmospheric research, provided that detailed metadata are available.

Bibliografische gegevens

D Wolters, T Brandsma. Estimating the Urban Heat Island in residential areas in the Netherlands using observations by weather amateurs
published, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 2012, 51

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