Contact: Rob Gutro
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Caption: This image shows warm air rising from an urban area, and subsequent cloud formation. Cities tend to be one to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (.56 to 5.6 Celsius) warmer than surrounding suburbs and rural areas and the added heat can destabilize the atmosphere and change the way air circulates around cities. Added heat creates wind circulations and rising air that can produce or enhance existing clouds. Under the right conditions, these clouds can evolve into rain-producers or storms. It is suspected that converging air due to city surfaces of varying heights, like buildings, also promotes rising air needed to produce clouds and rainfall. Winds can carry these clouds to the east of the cities.
Credit: Susan Gonnelli Byrne, NASA GSFC
Usage Restrictions: High Resolution Image at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/152468main_printurbanHeat22.tif
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