Visualizing A Heat Wave - 2003 Europe

I put together another heat wave visualization. I chose the 2003 heat wave in Europe. I previously did this for the 2011 heat wave in the central US.

To get the averages for comparison, I took the averages on each day from 1980 to 2010. These data were extremely noisy, so I smoothed it by representing each day using the week centered at that day. Thus...May 1st in the compare is April 28th, April 29th, April 30th, May 1st, May 2nd, May 3rd, and May 4th from 1980 + the same for 1981 + ... and then averaged by the number of years.

Next, I needed the data during the heat wave. I did the same thing except using 2003's data.

Finally then, the visualization is just the 2003 data minus the compare data at each lat/lon value and for each day. I picked three cities that were strongly affected by it as references and added those on the left.

I settled on these four months by balancing including enough time to show the heat wave against keeping the gif size reasonably small.

If you would like to compare with a normal year, I did the same thing except that I used 1990's data:

I put this visualization together in MATLAB and the data are from Berkeley Earth.

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