The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has chosen Montgomery County as a participant in the agency’s Urban Heat Mapping Campaign, officials announced.
In order to take part in the program, which is designed to measure temperature, humidity, time, and location during the hottest days of the year, the county needs volunteers.
The areas that will be mapped include about 200 square miles of county neighborhoods, including those in Silver Spring. Volunteers will use heat sensors mounted on their cars to track the information as they drive.
“These local maps will help us identify where we can take action to protect vulnerable neighborhoods now and in the future from extreme heat risk,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said in a press release.
“This campaign is part of a national effort to track ‘Urban Heat Islands,’ according to the release, which are “areas that can be up to 20 degrees hotter than nearby neighborhoods due to buildings, pavement, and other parts of urban environments amplifying high temperatures compared to nearby vegetated areas.”
This creates what are known as heat inequities. The program is intended to help develop policies and practices to protect those areas and the people living within them, such as adding cooling stations to bus stops.
More information for those residents who would like to learn about the program is available online, as well as register as a participating volunteer.
Photo: © João Kermadec / Adobe Stock