We perform correlation analysis between air temperature and surface brightness temperature over the Adelaide Central Business District and the surrounding parklands. The results indicate that three effective surface areas associated with three different mechanisms exist. They are the effective surface area with upward sensible heat transfer to heat up and maintain the air temperature, the effective surface area with downward sensible heat transfer to cool down the air, and the effective surface area related to very localized conditions (e.g., sky-view factors). The three mechanisms occur at different times of the day and result in different air temperature and surface temperature correlations. The first effective surface area exists in the daytime after the surface is heated up by solar radiation and can persist into the night, particularly in urban environments. The second effective area occurs in night-time when the surface has been cooled down sufficiently. The third effective area coexists with the second one and has a weaker correlation between the surface and air temperatures. It was also found that in an urban area, exclusion of roof pixels in the calculation of surface brightness temperature can increase the correlation between the surface and air temperatures in the middle of the night.