What is the urban heat island effect?

WEATHER: Like It or Not!
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The urban heat island effect is something that we see almost on a daily basis here in Chicago.

The city holds more heat than the suburbs and rural areas. It can be noticed during the day, but more so has an impact on overnight temperatures.

So what is the urban heat island effect? It is warmer temperatures found in the core of the city compared to surrounding areas. The temperatures are warmer because the buildings and the concrete give off heat. This raises the temperature of the air most noticeably at night.

For example, on hot and humid summer nights, temperatures in the suburbs could drop into the 70s, but in the city, temperatures may only fall into the low 80s. The temperature is higher because all the concrete and buildings give off the heat they acquired during the day.

These warm nights combined with very high temperatures during the day can be quite dangerous. For those without air conditioning, it means there is no relief at night.


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