Sacramento ranks near Top 10 of cities experiencing a ‘heat island effect’

Local News

(KTXL) — Sacramento ranked in the Top 20 of cities where temperatures can be several degrees warmer than those of the surrounding region, according to a report by Climate Central

The cities, named “urban heat islands,” are metropolitan areas that can experience hotter days for several reasons such as population density and whether surfaces reflect or absorb heat. 

Sacramento placed 11th out of 159 with a higher average temperature of 7.08 degrees, the report says. The report, however, emphasizes some areas of a city may experience higher temperatures.

“It’s important to remember that each score is an average for the entire city, and certain neighborhoods or areas of a city will likely be cooler or hotter, depending on vegetation and other factors,” the report says.

According to Climate Central, Sacramento’s score was due to building height and impermeable surfaces.

“… The size and dimensions of buildings influence how air moves through a city during the day, playing a large role in the trapping or dissipation of heat,” the report explains. 

Impermeable surfaces such as paved roads absorb and radiate heat, contributing to the heat island effect. The Sacramento Bee and Climate Central both point to low-income neighborhoods as disproportionately experiencing those effects.

“People living in households below the poverty line also tend to live in areas that have less green space compared to those at more than two times the poverty line,” the report says.

Nearby San Francisco ranked fifth on the list and Fresno ranked 18th. 

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