JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Detecting hot spots in Jacksonville: News4JAX got an inside look at a new study that’s about to get underway and how it will benefit our community.
The citywide heat-mapping study is scheduled for Saturday, the hottest day of the year so far.
The University of North Florida partnered with the city of Jacksonville and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to perform its first heat-mapping study.
Sixty volunteers who have signed up to participate will drive around with instruments that sit on their car window. The instruments, from CAPA Strategies, will measure the air temperature and humidity.
“They’re gonna run each route to drive each route three times in one day, from 6 to 7 a.m., from 3 to 4 p.m. and then from 7 to 8 p.m.,” explained Adam Rosenblatt, a biology professor at UNF.
Anne Coglianese, the city’s chief resilience officer, says this study will make a positive impact on cooling down our community’s hot spots.
”It gives us the air temperature. We already have maps that tell us where we have tree canopies. We have maps that tell us where we have a lot of concrete. We even have some satellite data that shows what the ground temperature is around the city,” Coglianese said. “But what it can’t tell us is what it feels like for a human body to live in that space.”
Dr. Adam Rosenblatt, a biologist at UNF, had high hopes for this ground-breaking research.
“My hope is that we will be able to collect data from all across the entire city of what the heat index looks like on a particularly hot day,” Rosenblatt said.
The data will then go back to CAPA Strategies, where it will be analyzed. It’s estimated that the results will be returned from CAPA Strategies sometime in late summer to early fall.
It’s important to measure the temperature and the humidity across Jacksonville’s neighborhoods to determine which ones are the hottest and what action needs to be taken to cool them down.
When looking at trends, it’s likely that areas with more trees and cover will be cooler than open neighborhoods with more asphalt.
“Looking at someone’s front yard, I’m getting a temperature data of like 88 degrees versus when we’re looking at straight out on the road in front of us, I’m seeing 112,” Coglianese said. “So that’s a huge difference a bit of grass can make.”
One of the easiest things that the city can do to combat the hot spots would be to plant more trees and remove pavement.
“To help fund community cooling centers in those areas, right? For people who may not have access to air conditioning, they can go to a community cooling center on a really hot day and not be stressed out by the heat as much,” Rosenblatt said.
The end goal is to be able to prioritize resources to those neighborhoods that need it most.