To investigate the spatial and temporal variability of the urban heat island, a high-spatial density meteorological observation system was set up in the Tokyo ward area by Tokyo Metropolitan Research Institute for Environmental Protection (TMRIEP) and Tokyo Metropolitan University from July 2002 to March 2005. The observation system was named Meteorological Environmental Temperature and Rainfall Observation System (METROS) and consisted of two observation networks named METROS20 and METROS100; METROS20 was made to observe meteorological factors (wind direction and speed, pressure, rainfall etc.) on the roofs of 20 buildings; METROS100 was made to observe temperature and humidity in instruments screens of 106 elementary schools. Since April 2005, observations of temperature and humidity were continued with the instruments screens of elementary schools by TMRIEP. This observation network was maintained until March 2010.
Based on their observations, temporal and spatial characteristics of thermal environment of Tokyo have been investigated such as temperature range, especially in summer. For example, warmer areas differ between daytime and nighttime as shown by spatial patterns in rate of time exceeding 30 degrees Celsius and number of sultry nights: the warmer area is located from central part to northern part of the Tokyo ward area during daytime and from central part to coastal area during nighttime.