Richland County joins nationwide climate mapping, weather data to help with extreme heat

Volunteer vehicles will have this bumper sticker and scientific equipment on them Saturday.
Volunteer vehicles will have this bumper sticker and scientific equipment on them Saturday.(Richland County)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 3:30 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Richland County announced it is joining a nationwide effort to collect weather data and help communities experiencing extreme heat.

On Saturday, August 6, volunteers will use vehicle mounted sensors as they drive across the county. The group of around 20 people will collect temperature, humidity and provide GPS data to map urban heat islands.

The volunteers will display bumper stickers on their vehicles that say, “Heat Watch: Science in Motion.”

Urban heat islands are places where buildings, pavement and other parts of urban environment make temperatures hotter, which can put people at risk of injury or death on hot days.

Quinton Epps, the division manager for Richland County’s Community and Planning Development Department said,

“Richland County is growing rapidly, and the expanding residential, commercial and transportation infrastructure contribute to areas where temperatures are much warmer than nearby rural areas.”

The study is expected to be completed in October. It will include a publicly available report and digital mapping data to show community leaders where Richland County’s temperatures change and variations in humidity.

Columbia is one of 14 areas picked to participate in the project by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association’s Climate Program Office. Columbia, West Columbia and Cayce are participating in the project and it is estimated around 190 square miles of the Midlands will be mapped Saturday.

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