Improved Surface Urban Heat Impact Assessment Using GOES Satellite Data: A Comparative Study With ERA-5 Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractWe compare highresolution landsurface temperature (LST) estimates from the GOES16/17 (GOES) satellites to ERA5 Land (ERA5) reanalysis data across nine large US cities. We quantify the offset and find that ERA5 generally overestimates LST compared to GOES by 1.63C. However, this overestimation is less pronounced in urban areas, underscoring the limitations of ERA5 in capturing the LST gradient between urban and nonurban areas. We then examine three quantities: Surface Urban Heat Island Intensity (SUHII), extreme LST events, and LST exposure by population. We find that ERA5 does not accurately represent the diurnal variation and magnitude of SUHII in GOES. Furthermore, while ERA5 was on average too warm, ERA5 underestimates extreme heat by an average of 2.40C. Our analysis reveals higher population exposure to high LST in the GOES data set across the cities studied. This discrepancy is especially pronounced when estimating the population fraction that are most exposed to heat.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, J., & Dessler, A. E.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Jangho||Dessler, Andrew E

publication date

  • January 2024