- Data Points
Visualizing a Wet, Hot (and Also Very Dry) American Summer
Interactive maps of drought and precipitation show that U.S. weather in 2015 is a study in contrasts.
Data Points is a new series where we explore the world of data visualization, information graphics, and cartography.
From epic snowfall in the northeastern United States to a record heat wave in western Europe, the Northern Hemisphere—and the U.S. in particular—has experienced dramatic weather in 2015.
Perhaps nowhere has this been more evident than in the western U.S., where California is in the fourth year of its worst drought on record. Yet in late July, the southern part of the state was drenched by torrential rains that washed away two interstate highway bridges. That same week, on another interstate about a hundred miles away, a drought-fueled wildfire torched 20 cars as their panicked drivers fled.
To better track climatic conditions around the West and the country as a whole, my team at the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University,