Background High surface temperatures across artificial sports surfaces are more widespread than previously understood. Currently a calculation of heat stress risk is completed with measurements from the nearest weather station. However, when measures are not conducted on-site, variations in thermal comfort measurements occur potentially increasing the risk of heat stress.
Aim The aim of this study is to evaluate the concordance of meteorological data of multiple artificial sports surfaces with meteorological data from the nearest Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) weather station and the City of Ballarat (COB) environmental monitoring system (EMS).
Methods Measures of thermal comfort i.e., wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), were calculated from on-site, BOM and COB measurements. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to assess agreement between BOM, COB meteorological and on-site measurements.
Results On all five surfaces measured, the BOM air temperatures were the lowest, followed by the on-site air temperatures and then the COB air temperatures. The highest WBGT measurements of 24.38 (± 2.39) °C were recorded by the COB sensor while the lowest WBGT measurements 20.76 (± 1.99) °C were recorded by the BOM.
Conclusion Based on the 1245 measurements across the five sites and paired comparisons with measurements at the BOM weather station and COB environmental monitoring system, on-site measurements provided the most accurate assessment of thermal comfort. Differences were observed between the individual meteorological measurements, the WBGT measurements and the heat stress categorisation. Overall, a significant discordance exists for both individual meteorological variables and WBGT modelled from multiple sources of available data.
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