Outdoor Universal Thermal Comfort Index Climatology for Alaska

Author: Nicole Mölders

Data from 456 surface meteorological sites in Alaska, eastern Russia and northwest Canada for 1979-2017 were used to model hourly universal thermal comfort indices (UTCIs) under consideration of Alaska-appropriate clothing. The results served to determine a high-resolution climatology of thermal comfort levels for Alaska at various temporal and spatial scales as well as the frequency of thermal stress levels. On 1979-2017 average, various degrees of cold stress occurred with highest percentage on the Alaska West Coast and along the Arctic Ocean. In the continental and Inside Passage region, no thermal stress had the highest percentage of occurrence. In Interior Alaska, both strong heat and extreme cold stress occurred occasionally. At most sites and in all Alaska Köppen-Geiger bio-climate regions, the absolute range between monthly means of daily minimum and maximum UTCIs was larger than that of monthly means of daily minimum and maximum air temperatures. Major contributors to thermal discomfort (shortwave radiation, air temperature, moisture, wind speed) varied among bio-climate regions and in the diurnal and annual courses.


Journal: Atmospheric and Climate Sciences
DOI: 10.4236/acs.2019.94036(PDF)
Paper Id: 95741 (metadata)

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