Increasing summer temperatures are amongst Charlottesville's top climate hazards. By mid-century, climate models project that Charlottesville could experience more than double the extreme heat events we currently experience. Urban areas are especially vulnerable to the "urban heat island effect" - where hard surfaces (e.g. buildings and roads) absorb and retain heat from the sun and limited trees provide shade. That can mean some areas are several degrees hotter than others. During a heat wave, just a few degrees can make a big difference.
A Heat Mitigation and Adaptation Guidebook for Charlottesville was recently developed to help decision makers and residents understand and respond to rising temperatures. It presents background information, case studies, and community- and household-scale strategies for dealing with heat. This work was started in conjunction with the 2021 heat island mapping campaign. Visit our website to learn more about urban heat islands and how Charlottesville is working to both mitigate and adapt to the changing climate.
Climate Program Manager
City of Charlottesville