ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque has released the results of the Urban Heat Watch Campaign which took place last summer and shows the concentrations of heat in the metro. The city reports in a press release that in July 2021, The city used a $17,000 grant from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to send volunteers and staff used thermal sensors that were mounted on their cars and bicycles and drove through routes to record temperatures and humidity twice during the day.
City officials state that the maps that came as a result of the project showed temperature differences as high as about 17 degrees Fahrenheit in different areas of the city with the hottest temperatures downtown and in neighborhoods next to the highways.
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According to the city, participants in the campaign gathered 67,662 temperature points that showed citywide temperatures in the morning that ranged from 62 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit and temperatures in the afternoon that ranged from 94 to 105 degrees. City officials state that differences in temperature can be due to the lack of tree canopy and shade coverage as well as concentrations of asphalt.
The city reports that areas that show high concentrations of heat are anticipated to align with the areas of low-income communities and in future repeated mappings, the results will be compared with social equity indicators.
“In some low-income communities we’re seeing a lack of tree canopies or a huge concentration of asphalt so it’s really great for us to better understand where the greatest needs are within our community,” City of Albuquerque Sustainability Coordinator, Kelsey Rader said.
With new data, these maps are able to identify where the city can act in efforts to protect neighborhoods that are vulnerable from extreme heat risk.
The Keller administration is also pushing to plant a thousand trees across the city as well as push for efforts to include more electric buses in operation. The city is also looking into products to keep asphalt cool and reduce its heat absorption during the day and reduce heat re-release at night.
For more information on the results of the Heat Watch Campaign, visit cabq.gov/sustainability.