Just as a new heat wave hits Portland, new research being done at Portland State University shows that some areas of the city will be even hotter.

It’s called urban heat island mapping and the goal is to pinpoint neighborhoods that get hotter than others, like Southeast 82nd Avenue and Foster Road.

That is one of the hottest spots in Portland.

PSU Professor Vivek Shandas has been working on the project for years and now the map is complete.

Shandas and his researchers collected temperature readings all over the city using small sensors attached to car windows.

Using color coordination, they’ve labeled different hot spots or “heat islands” down to specific streets and intersections.

Shandas says temperatures can vary up to 15 degrees within a quarter of a mile or less.

Areas with a lot of tall trees and shade are the coolest, like Forest Park.

But long stretches of major roadways and areas with a lot of concrete buildings are very hot, like Sandy Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the northwest Portland industrial area.

Shandas says urban heat waves kill more people than every other natural disaster combined, so if you have too many heat factors in one spot, it can be deadly.       

“If it’s 105 degrees, for example, in an area where there’s a tall building – which is another factor that increases the heat – and they’re on the top floor of that building with no air conditioning, we’ve seen temperatures reaching upwards of 140 degrees on those top floors,” said Shandas.

Shandas has shared his research with Portland city officials who’ve incorporated it into their Climate Action Plan.

You can see the heat island map by going to www.suprlab.org

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