What’s Norfolk’s hottest area? Scientists to record temps on scorching Saturday


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Some local scientists are taking advantage of the heat. 

On Saturday, they plan to determine the hottest sections of Norfolk.

“115, we might set some all time records,” said ODU professor Dr. Mike Allen. “It will be a little toasty, but I’ll be in the air conditioning so I will be cool.”

Following the leads of cities such as Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Richmond, scientists want to see what are the hottest sections of Norfolk.

“We want to draw awareness to the impact that heat has on your community,” Allen added.

To do this scientists and 20 volunteers will attach homemade GPS thermometers to their cars.

“It’s a thermal unit that we use to look at the temperature in my backyard, basically, and we basically mobilized it,” Allen said.

The study is a collaboration between the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond and ODU.

“We basically just send people out to predetermined routes around the city of Norfolk,” said Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, the Chief Scientist with the Science Museum of Richmond. “We have about seven different sectors that we are going to be targeting.”

Scientists take into account how much vegetation there is in certain areas.  They say the data is very useful.

“Some of these areas that experience higher temperatures also experience higher rates of ambulance calls for heat related illnesses,” Hoffman added.  “There is direct impact.”

Scientists also say they is a direct correlation with more energy used in hotter areas, which could help prepare utility companies in future heat waves.

Scientists say they should have all the data by Saturday night, and they plan to do it over the next couple years to see if there are any changes.

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