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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 230365, 10 pages
Research Article

The Impact of the Urban Heat Island during an Intense Heat Wave in Oklahoma City

1Oklahoma Climatological Survey, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA
2Center for Applied Social Research, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA

Received 29 May 2009; Revised 1 October 2009; Accepted 10 January 2010

Academic Editor: Sue Grimmond

Copyright © 2010 Jeffrey B. Basara et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During late July and early August 2008, an intense heat wave occurred in Oklahoma City. To quantify the impact of the urban heat island (UHI) in Oklahoma City on observed and apparent temperature conditions during the heat wave event, this study used observations from 46 locations in and around Oklahoma City. The methodology utilized composite values of atmospheric conditions for three primary categories defined by population and general land use: rural, suburban, and urban. The results of the analyses demonstrated that a consistent UHI existed during the study period whereby the composite temperature values within the urban core were approximately 0 . 5 C warmer during the day than the rural areas and over 2 C warmer at night. Further, when the warmer temperatures were combined with ambient humidity conditions, the composite values consistently revealed even warmer heat-related variables within the urban environment as compared with the rural zone.