Intra-urban cooling in the city of Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso in the Sahel zone of West Africa, was studied during the dry seasons in 2003, 2004 and 2007. The aim was to see how vegetation, built structure and position within the built-up area influenced the nocturnal cooling. Cooling was divided into two phases. In Phase 1 (16:00 –20:00 hours LST = CET), cooling was very different between the sites while in Phase 2 (20:00 –06:00 hours LST), cooling rates differed insignificantly and the whole area cooled almost at the same rate. Thus the temperature differences between the sites developed during these few hours in Phase 1 were preserved during the rest of the night. In Phase 1, Evening Evapotranspirative Cooling was intensive at vegetated sites that cooled almost twice as fast as sparsely vegetated. This was indicated by a humidity rate (increase of specific humidity per hour) that was high at a vegetated site, but considerably lower at a sparsely vegetated. In Phase 2 the humidity rate was slightly negative with little difference between the sites. After a division in vegetated and sparsely vegetated sites built structure (sky view factor) were shown to influence cooling, but no influence of the position within the built-up area was traced. Thus, the site-specific properties dominated cooling, giving large intra-urban temperature differences. The study also showed the importance of considering a large enough source area to account for micro-scale advection.
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