Urbanization and Climate Variation

By: Anna Estrada-Reyes and Jamie Bottomley

Why did we do this? We decided to do this project in order to learn whether the climate of a given city was affected by its urbanization. We were also chosen by our science teachers to go on this great learning adventure along with two other colleges named Alex and Kellie. It was an internship at the State Climate office. We went every tuesday after school from 3:00 to 4:00.

The first tuesday rolled around and we were taken to the State Climate office. When we first arived we met Ryan Boyles who was the leader of our group and led us through the year at this internship. The first day we came in (Alex, Anna, Kellie and Jamie) we hypothesised three different ideas we could bass the project on that we were planing to do. We broke up into two teams: Alex and Kellie, and Jamie and Anna. Each group picked a hypothesis that they wanted to work on. Anna and Jamie's hypothesis was that we based our beliefs that urban areas, or cities, have a warmer climate than that of rural areas. We picked five urban and five rural areas spread out among North Carolina.

The rural and urban areas are:

1) Asheville and Marshall

2) Charlotte and Monroe

3) Raleigh and Lousiburg

4) Greensboro and Reidsville

5) Wilmington and Willard

We took these stations and looked up the maximum and minimum temperatures for each of them using CRONOS and CIRRUS websites that recorded the data back to 1933. We compaired the data and found out the hottes and coldest seasons out of all of the five urban and five rural areas. The hottest location in all four seasons was Willard and the coldest out of all of the seasons was Marshall. The data below is the data that we used to test our hypothesis.


After reviewing our data, we concluded that urban areas are warmer than urban areas in the winter, but in the summer, rural areas are hotter. Though the difference between maximum seasonal temperatures of urban and rural areas is not very significant, the difference between minimum seasonal temperatures is much larger. Ranging from 2 to 6 degrees in differece, urban areas have a much higher minimum seasonal temperature.