Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Abigail’s study on the effect of rain on urban heat island wins a Certificate of Achievement from NCAR and third place in the 2014 Wyoming State Science Fair

Abigail Whitman, a 6th grader in Laramie’s Snowy Range Academy, studied how afternoon rain showers in summer altered the urban heat island effect.

Temperature data collected by her at 3 outdoor locations on 12 days revealed that concrete, grass, and asphalt surfaces rapidly cooled following PM rainfall events in comparison to non-rainy days. Temperatures of all three surfaces dropped gradually on sunny days with no rain. At the end of the day, asphalt and concrete recorded higher temperatures than grass lawns. On rainy days temperatures of these surfaces dropped rapidly following the rain event. However the pattern of temperature drop of these three surfaces did not change. Her research revealed that in addition to rain, wind and clouds also influenced the rate of decrease in temperature of these surfaces.


Abigail presented her research findings in the 2014 Wyoming State Science Fair in Laramie on 3/4/2014 and won the third place in Earth and Planetary Sciences category.  Additionally she was awarded a Certificate of Achievement from the National Consortium for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the Junior Geoscience division.