by Robin Kemp

Whether you’re a weather nerd, a student looking for a great STEM activity, or someone who cares about how hot your neighborhood is getting, the National Weather Service and Spelman College are looking for volunteers to help with the Atlanta Heat Watch Campaign.

ATL Heat Watch sensors will capture data on how hot it is (Photo: Spelman College)

Volunteers will spend one day collecting data for the ATL Heat Watch heat mapping project, according to Spelman’s website: “We need volunteers from around the Atlanta area to measure heat at various intervals throughout the day. You will receive a stipend for gas and will be doing critical work to improve our environment and help vulnerable populations.”

The heat-mapping project will help scientists “better understand and address the distribution of heat at the human level.” The data you collect “will be used to develop a high-resolution, area-wide heat map using predictive modeling.”

To see what that map might look like, check out Houston’s H3AT Campaign.

The study could provide Clayton County with some rare data points about atmospheric conditions. A check of various federal maps show the area east and southeast of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport amounts to a data desert. Water-monmitoring stations are few and air-monitoring stations are virtually nonexistent in Forest Park and nearby areas.

It also could provide residents with specific information about where and how rapid development, heavy traffic, and tree loss affects your neighborhood.

Drivers, navigators, and cyclists will use sampling devices to collect data during three separate one-hour periods on the same day. Organizers say chances are good that you ‘ll be able to choose where you want to drive.

The exact day is to be announced but will be in late August or early September, “on a day when the expected daily high temperature for your area is within the top 10% of annual averages. Forecasts and historical weather patterns will identify a tentative campaign date, which will be confirmed or altered with more accurate forecasts as the date approaches.”

To sign up, visit https://tiny.cc/ATLHeatMapSignUp. The application is in English and Spanish.

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