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  • Author or Editor: John F. Griffiths x
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The combination of concrete and asphalt surfaces, large buildings, lack of surface water, and anthropogenic heat inputs result in urban temperatures warmer than surrounding rural areas. This effect is often most pronounced with winter minimum temperatures and may cause changes in local plant hardiness zones. Local minimum temperatures were obtained for the years 1974-96 from the National Climatic Data Center and the Office of the State Climatologist of Texas for all recording stations within the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas metropolitan area. Data were averaged and analyzed in two groups: 1974-86 and 1987-96. Contour maps were created using Surfer software. The 1974-86 local map had only one major difference from the 1990 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map, which was the inclusion of 8a temperatures in more western portions of the metroplex. The inclusion of the years 1987-96 resulted in the westward expansion of 8a and a new 8b zone near downtown Dallas. These changes mimic the expansion of suburban development and increased urbanization over the last decade. We propose an updated plant hardiness zone map for this metropolitan area, which should more accurately reflect changes that have occurred since publication of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map.

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