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This summer, NOAA and citizen scientists will map the hottest parts of 18 communities in 14 states across the country and in one international city. Identifying these hotspots, called urban heat islands, helps local decision-makers take actions to reduce the health impacts of extreme heat, which often target the most vulnerable.
Now in its seventh year, the NOAA Urban Heat Island (UHI) mapping campaign addresses extreme heat, the number one weather-related cause of death in the U.S. for the last three decades. Urban heat islands — areas with few trees and more pavement that absorbs heat — can be up to 20 degrees fahrenheit hotter than nearby neighborhoods with more trees, grass and less black asphalt.