What is an Urban Heat Island and how does it affect Tulsa?

What is an Urban Heat Island and how does it affect Tulsa?

Flag and Sun by WFTV photographer Sid Champagne

TULSA, Okla. — The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect is the warm bubble of air that emanates from a city due to widespread concrete surfaces radiating warmth at night from the previous day’s sunshine.

A city like Tulsa or even Bartlesville or Muskogee will end up warmer than more rural settings.

It is most prominent in the summer when the morning low temperature can be as much as 10 degrees warmer than places immediately beyond the city.

Content Continues Below

The Tulsa Int’l Airport has warmer nighttime temperatures due to a prevailing south wind in the summer, which blows the warmer air to that sensor.

We’ve seen this trend night after night and will continue to see it for the foreseeable future.