We analyzed the annual, monthly, and seasonal variations of urban heat island (UHI) intensity in Istanbul by using meteorological data measured for the period of 1960-2012 at six stations. The UHI on minimum temperature is found to be positive for all seasons, and the average UHI intensity clearly indicates seasonal changes, strongest in summer and weakest in winter. The results demonstrated increase of night time UHI intensity with 0.41-0.50 degrees C/decade and decrease of daytime UHI intensity with 0.13-0.18 degrees C/decade at the urban sites. The UHI strengthened with the expansion of the city due to increased population. The influences of meteorological variables on seasonality of the UHI intensity are examined for the days categorized depending on wind, cloud cover, and precipitation values. It is found that the UHI intensity decreases with increasing wind speed and cloud cover. The integrated response of the city atmosphere to wind speed changes differ such that daytime UHI in urban atmosphere intensifies rapidly from calm conditions to the wind speeds of 2-3 m/s, then slightly increases until 4-5-m/s wind speeds and starts to decline afterwards. On the other hand, the nighttime UHI intensities in urban sites continuously decline with the same rate until the wind speeds reach to 5-6 m/s. The difference of daytime UHI between rainy summer days and dry days is around 1 degrees C which is almost independent of the precipitation amount. Both nighttime and daytime UHI intensities depend on the season and site range approximately between 0.24 and 1.74 degrees C and - 0.62 and 2.61 degrees C, respectively. However, the UHI based on minimum temperature for the selected dry days with low wind and clear sky conditions increases to 1.70-3.08 degrees C. Land surface data from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua and Terra show areal extension of the UHI through the north along the Bosphorus between 2000 and 2012, especially in the night observations. The continuous increase of built-up areas, paved roads, and decrease of green areas caused the growth of UHI intensity. The estimated UHI based on land surface temperature (LST) at the most urbanized locations of Istanbul reach to 8 degrees C for daytime and 6 degrees C for nighttime.