PHOENIX - On Wednesday, the Valley experienced its hottest day of 2020 so far, with temperatures reaching 107°F (~41.66°C).
With triple-digit temperatures, cities built with concrete can create an urban heat island, which an make things even worse.
Meanwhile, researchers at Arizona State University say Marty, a mobile weather station that is the only one of its kind in the country, can measure how a person experiences heat.
"It can measure how a person experiences heat," said Ariane Middel, an Assistant Professor with the ASU School of Arts, Media and Engineering. "When you are outdoors and in the sun, you are much warmer than in the shade and direct sunlight is hitting you."
The weather station measuring temperature, the wind and radiation. Then Middel, who is Marty’s inventor, collects the data and relays the findings to the city, so they can create a better place for people to live.
"It is really important to make the outdoors more comfortable, so people can still go out and walk their dog and do stuff outdoors and stay active, but if it’s so hot, like this week, it is tough so to try and use design and urban forum to make it more comfortable, Outdoors," said Middel, who has also been Marty in Los Angeles to measure heat there.
Kelly Turner, an assistant professor of urban planning at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), says Marty is helping their project's goal of cooling the city down.
"The way most people would do it is take measurement of surface temperature, but Marty can take climatological factors and allow us to collect temperature and gives us an idea to how pedestrians feel heat rather than how the ground feels to the touch," said Turner.
They usually walk Marty around certain areas of the campus or in Tempe, and helps city leaders determine if there needs to be more shade and trees and where it needs to go.