The dense smoke coming into Nevada from the northern California Fires will continue to plague the region to some extent as we go through the weekend, although a slow and subtle wind shift from the northwest to the southwest should give us some relief by Sunday. Other than the smoke, the skies should remain clear with above average temperatures staying in the low to mid 90s through the weekend and into next week.
I’ve been talking about the urban heat island, and the difference it can make to our temperature history. While it may be difficult to quantify, the change has been pretty dramatic. Here’s another example: I often drive home at night on a motorcycle, and my trip starts right next to the airport. While most motorcycles don’t have thermometers, being exposed to the elements is a good substitute. On the way home (a 15 minute trip) I pass by a small field, and the temperature difference often hits me like a hammer… easily dropping 10 degrees in the space of a few hundred feet. It’s a reminder of how cool the airport used to be.
I’ll point out that there’s a lot of cooling that occurs near the fields that is due to evapotranspiration. The application of water will have a substantial cooling effect in areas with significant vegetation.
I have to agree that it’s really nice to ride past a golf course or field on a hot summer night.