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RTC is helping Nevadans beat the heat this summer

Posted at 7:17 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 22:31:02-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Climate Central, a non-profit organization analyzing climate science, identified Southern Nevada as one the fastest warming area in the nation and largely affected by the urban heat island effect. These are places that experience higher temperatures due to fast development.

National Weather Service meteorologist, Jenn Varian, explains, "Las Vegas is going to continue to develop. So these hot temperatures are more or less here to stay. This is a very big issue as of late, trying to figure out how we can mitigate increasing temperatures in an already extreme climate."

Clark County was chosen as a 2022 participant in NOAA's urban heat island mapping project. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is asking volunteers to ride around Las Vegas with specialized equipment to capture temperature and humidity data to see what areas are the hottest in the valley.

RTC's senior regional planner Paul Gully told us, "Last year, with the help of community partners, lead a project on extreme heat vulnerability. We found that the most vulnerable neighborhoods were largely concentrated in and outside the urban core and the east side. Through this heat island mapping campaign, we are looking to engage those communities more."

Anyone with a license can volunteer to drive, and anyone 12 or older can volunteer to be a navigator. There will be three times in the day to sign up for, and for each route completed, volunteers will receive a $30 visa gift card. If you do all three sessions, that could be $90 bucks in your pocket.

"The region can use this data to help inform different programs and policies and projects that we can use to mitigate urban heat and address heat-related illness across the valley," Gully said.

The project is scheduled to be in early to mid August. An exact date is not yet available as they working with the NWS to find which day would be best. Because of this, an “on-call roster” of volunteers will be used. Volunteers will be notified 7-10 days prior to the date.

Click here for more information and how you can volunteer.