As part of the Southern Nevada Urban Heat Mapping Project, maps detailing the spatial distribution of heat in our region were prepared using two different measures: temperature and heat index. An interactive web-based map, which includes temperature and heat index layers, that can be accessed by clicking below.
Higher temperatures are generally concentrated in the central and eastern valley, though all parts of the region have “hotspots.” Neighborhoods that experience the hottest temperatures are largely located in and around the urban core (i.e., downtown Las Vegas, downtown North Las Vegas, and Historic Westside), and east side (i.e., in and around East Las Vegas and east of US-95).
Most of the areas that experience the hottest temperatures lack high concentrations of dense vegetation, and in general, feature large amounts of dark and impermeable surfaces, like parking lots, buildings, and asphalt. Vegetation, such as trees and shrubs, can be a natural source of shade and facilitate evaporation, which results in a cooling effect. Vegetated surfaces also absorb less heat than impervious surfaces. Developed land, which replaces natural land and vegetation with impervious surfaces (such as paved roads, parking lots, and buildings), retains heat and takes longer to cool than natural surfaces. These surfaces have been shown to be strongly related to increased surface temperatures and a contributor to urban heat islands.
Additionally, because elevation drops by as much as 2,000 feet from west to east in developed areas of the region, the valley’s east side also experiences naturally higher temperatures.
Project Deliverables & Additional Results