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NIHHIS News

2020 Heat Watch Campaigns Progressing, Innovating
Thea Kindschuh

2020 Heat Watch Campaigns Progressing, Innovating

As our thirteen Heat Watch campaign cities progress through the campaign planning steps (color corresponds with flowchart phase), local organizers are creatively adapting the Heat Watch process. We've compiled highlights from some campaigns below. 

El Paso, TX & Las Cruces, NM

These two cities teamed up to conduct their heat mapping assessments on the same day. The Las Cruces team recruited university students through their partnership with New Mexico State University, while El Paso organizers reached their many volunteers through the nearby University of Texas El Paso campus. 

Houston, TX

With an especially large mapping area (over 300 square miles!), the Houston/Harris County team created its own website to recruit volunteers. Available in both Spanish and English, this user-friendly website promotes the purpose of the heat mapping campaign, the partners involved, media stories and provides the many relevant documents to volunteers.

Miami, FL

Thunderstorms and rains aused the Miami campaign to shift dates and adapt. The National Weather Service Miami/ South Florida generously provided campaign conditions for each mapping hour of potential campaign days, and coordinators at the City of Miami and non-profit partner Catalyst Miami communicated updates with volunteers using the free messaging platform, WhatsApp.

Austin, TX

To enhance the design of campaign routes, the Austin team is using a data-driven approach and gathering priority areas and points of interest into an interactive web-map. Data layers include the locations of mobile home parks, affordable housing units, cooling centers, transit stops and parks, as well as information on social vulnerability, heat risk, and life expectancy. 

Cincinnati, OH

A handful of participants in Cincinnati will traverse their campaign routes from behind the wheel of several electric vehicles, as part of a coordinated effort with EV Cincy and the Cincinnati EV Car Club. These initiatives aim to promote education and use of electric vehicles and will help to create a low carbon footprint for Cincinnati’s campaign.

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Building on the results of community heat mapping efforts 26 July 2019

Building on the results of community heat mapping efforts

Following successful completion of an urban heat mapping campaign in Portland, Oregon in 2016, the map produced through the community effort was used in a study on effective ways to cool the city's urban areas. The study, requested by the City of Portland, shows the substantial cooling effect of planting trees and vegetation in urban areas.

Citizen scientists take to the streets to map the hottest places in ten U.S. cities 24 July 2019

Citizen scientists take to the streets to map the hottest places in ten U.S. cities

With specially designed sensors mounted on their own cars, volunteers in each city will drive pre-planned routes, recording heat and humidity as they go. Scientists will stitch their results into a detailed map showing the hottest parts of each city.

National Geographic highlights NOAA-funded Urban Heat Island project with 2019 campaign set to kick off Saturday 24 July 2019

National Geographic highlights NOAA-funded Urban Heat Island project with 2019 campaign set to kick off Saturday

Developing an Early Warning System to Prevent Heat Illness

As three cities gear up to map urban heat islands on Saturday, this week National Geographic shared an article highlighting the NOAA-funded 2018 summer mapping campaign to help address extreme heat. The article includes the project’s map of Washington, DC, in August 2018 where temperatures spanned almost 17 degrees between the hottest and coolest areas of the city.

RCCC Heatwave Guide for Cities 24 July 2019

RCCC Heatwave Guide for Cities

This guide is intended to help city governments understand the heat risks they face, develop an early-warning system, work with partners to consolidate action plans, and adapt urban-planning practices.

Citizen Scientists Take to the Streets to Map the Hottest Places in Ten U.S. Cities 24 July 2019

Citizen Scientists Take to the Streets to Map the Hottest Places in Ten U.S. Cities

Citizen scientists will take to the streets during the hottest days this summer to map hot spots in ten different U.S. cities. The campaign is part of a NOAA-funded project to map places where buildings, asphalt, and other parts of urban environments can amplify high temperatures, putting people at heightened risk of heat illness during extreme heat events.

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About Us

The NIHHIS is an integrated system that builds understanding of the problem of extreme heat, defines demand for climate services that enhance societal resilience, develops science-based products and services from a sustained climate science research program, and improves capacity, communication, and societal understanding of the problem in order to reduce morbidity and mortality due to extreme heat. The NIHHIS is a jointly developed system by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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