RMetS Urban Heat Island Experiment

The Big Urban Heat Island Experiment

What is an urban heat island?

Find out about urban heat islands here.

How much warmer is the centre of your nearest town than the surrounding countyside? How is the temperature affected by parks, rivers, and buildings?

This is the homepage of the Royal Meteorological Society’s experiment to map the heat islands of towns and cities across the UK. We need YOU and all your friends to help us, if you live within the areas described below. The data we collect will be available through this site for people to use in schools etc.

Where and when will we be measuring?

26 November 2008 – Reading, Berkshire: Now complete

Friday 6 March 2009 – Manchester in conjunction with Altrincham Girls Grammar School , SCORCHIO and The Institute of Physics

Results now available here together with a Report from Altrincham Girls Grammar

Contact Us if you would like to help us map your city.

How can schools and other people help?

Firstly, we have several hundred digital thermometers to lend to schools.

On the specified day, if you have a garden thermometer, please record the temperature before 830am and as soon as you have taken the reading, text urban to 60066 together with the temperature and the postcode of the place where you measured it. 

Alternatively, if you have a car with an inbuilt thermometer and normally drive to school or work, arriving before 830am, please note your car’s outside temperature measurement when you arrive at your destination and then as soon as you have taken the reading, text urban to 60066 together with the temperature and the postcode of the place where you measured it. If your normal morning routine takes you to several locations for which you know the postcode, please repeat – but do note that the car should have been moving for at least 5 minutes before you make any measurement.

For example, your text might read ‘urban 5.6 M1 7LL’

Key Points:

– Participants must measure the temperature before 8.30a.m. on the specified day.

– We need to be able to assume that the time of your text is the time the temperature reading was made.

– Any thermometer (with a range of at least -5ºC to +30ºC) can be used, but the temperature must be measured outside, at least 3m away from any building and about 1m off the ground. Give the thermometer time to adjust to outside temperatures – this might mean leaving it outside for a few hours or even overnight.

-The text will cost your service provider’s standard rate.

-The Society will not keep or distribute mobile phone numbers and does not need your name or address.