Learn What ClimaWATCH Can Do
The ClimaWATCH tool makes it easier to explore the effects of heat waves by providing dynamic, data-driven maps and metrics. Its data can be used to:
- Characterize the places where heat wave exposures and health issues concentrate to identify inequities and target resources
- Anticipate when and which types of acute health issues will surge after a local heat wave
Heat waves have historically caused more fatalities than any other extreme weather event and have cost the United States billions of dollars. Many of the hottest urban heat islands, where temperatures can soar up to 20°F higher than in surrounding areas, are inhabited by people living in poverty and by communities of color. Mathematica has developed an interactive tool called ClimaWATCH (Climate and Weather Analytics, Trends, and Community Health) to provide a framework for exploring how heat waves have impacted health and magnified inequity. Focusing on Medicaid beneficiaries, ClimaWATCH combines data on temperature and dew point, social vulnerability and racial composition, and health service use and spending to map where heat waves concentrate, which communities are most susceptible, how different health effects accumulate, and the financial toll these illnesses take. ClimaWATCH’s novel algorithm quantifies excessive health service use and spending on heat-related illnesses. Communities can use the dynamic data summaries—provided by demographic group, care setting, and diagnosis—to better adapt to heat waves and rebound from them more quickly.