Heat waves and their impacts on human health in urban areas of central oklahoma
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Heat Waves and Their Impacts on Human Health in Urban Areas of Central Oklahoma. Emma Fagan, Jessica Voveris, Kyle Thiem University of Oklahoma, School of Meteorology Heather Basara Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma Department of Geography Jeffrey Basara

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Heat Waves and Their Impacts on Human Health in Urban Areas of Central Oklahoma

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Heat Waves and Their Impacts on Human Health in Urban Areas of Central Oklahoma

Emma Fagan, Jessica Voveris, Kyle Thiem

University of Oklahoma, School of Meteorology

Heather Basara

Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma

Department of Geography

Jeffrey Basara

Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma

School of Meteorology


  • Heat waves are common occurrences

  • Especially dangerous within urban environments

    • UHI phenomenon

    • Higher air pollutant concentrations

  • Chicago (1995), Europe (2003), Russia (2010)

Basara et al. 2008

Societal Impacts

  • Heat, respiratory, and cardiovascular related illnesses increase exponentially during extreme heat events

  • Increased urbanization in the future

  • Heat waves are projected to increase in frequency, longevity, and intensity

  • Better mitigation techniques are needed

European Heat Wave of 2003

Research Goals

  • Expand the current knowledge of the relationships between heat waves, urban environments, and human health

  • Determine which populations are most at risk during extreme heat events within Oklahoma City at a neighborhood scale


  • Calculate apparent temperature via Oklahoma Mesonet and Oklahoma City Micronet data from the Central Oklahoma heat wave from 2008 for urban, suburban, and rural areas.

  • Analyze demographic risk factors such as age, socio-economic status, geographic location, income, education level, & ethnicity

  • Use ArcGIS software to overlay apparent temperature, ozone, and demographic data from U.S. Census Bureau

Basara et al. 2011


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