Public Display Thermometers

New York City, like most large cities, is a heat island.  With miles of paved surfaces, it is generally warmer than surrounding rural areas.

Within city limits, public display thermometers – on banks and gas stations – demonstrate this phenomenon on a micro scale. They are often positioned in the sun and over a concrete or asphalt surface that absorbs heat. As a result, they can read 5°F to 10°F higher than the city’s official air temperature taken in the more bucolic conditions of Central Park.

Gas station thermometer reads 104F, but the official high temeprature for the day was 92F.

The thermometer on this NYC gas station reads 104°F, but the official high temeprature for the day was 92°F.

Image Credit: The Weather Gamut

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About Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is an environmental communicator and visual artist working at the intersection of art and science. She is passionate about exploring, learning, and sharing information about the natural world. She has presented her interdisciplinary work in a variety of mediums at venues and conferences around the world.