Apr 3, 2024 - News

Dallas study identifies heat islands 10 degrees hotter than other areas

An aerial view of downtown Dallas

This concrete paradise can be hotter than greener parts of Dallas. Photo: Kirby Lee/Getty Images

Some Dallas neighborhoods are as much as 10 degrees hotter than others, a new study of heat islands found.

Why it matters: Tree-lined streets and less concrete can make the difference between extremely hot and just regular hot on a summer day.

  • Data on heat islands can guide city planners on where more trees should be planted and whether cooling paving technology should be used.

Driving the news: The hottest part of Dallas on Aug. 5, 2023, was 110 degrees — nearly 10 degrees hotter than other areas, according to a joint study released this week by the city of Dallas and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  • Volunteers collected more than 60,000 measurements of ambient temperature and humidity data across more than 100 square miles of Dallas in the study.

What they found: Heat stayed concentrated in the area around heavy industrial-commercial development in northwest Dallas, whereas southeast Dallas with swaths of preserved land stayed cooler throughout the day.

  • Plus, the area around Cedar Crest Golf Course was cooler.

By the numbers: Between 6-7am, the coolest temperature at a spot was 81.9° compared to 89.7° in the warmest.

  • By 3-4pm, the temperature reached 110.1° at the hottest spot, compared to 100.9° in the coolest.
  • Between 7-8pm, the hottest spot was 105.6°, compared to the coolest at 95.6°.
  • Shaded, tree-lined residential streets kept temperatures down, the researchers found.
  • Concrete jungles, like downtown, created heat islands.

Losers: The Dallas heat islands include the neighborhoods around downtown, Uptown and Deep Ellum. Oak Lawn, the Medical District and Love Field were also heat islands. Others are:

  • Design District
  • West Dallas
  • Bishop Arts
  • Stemmons/Market Center

Threat level: Residents in disadvantaged neighborhoods without much greenspace may be more at risk for heat-related health problems.

  • The researchers suggest the city develop a heat action plan to identify ways to bring down temperatures in hot neighborhoods.

What's next: The city plans to continue heat mapping this summer.

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