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The Greater Boston Area is known for its cold winters, snowy city streets, and Nor’easters. We know to budget for salt on our roads, keep warm indoors, and do the “penguin shuffle” to get to the car. Summers, however, are becoming increasingly important to plan for since they are getting longer, hotter, and more humid. Surprisingly, extreme heat, sometimes known as the “silent storm of extreme weather” causes more deaths in the US than all other weather hazards combined. As daily temperatures continue to increase in Massachusetts, the Museum of Science, Boston, in partnership with the Resilient Mystic River Collaborative (RMC), Mystic River Watershed Association, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, are focused on building a community of resilience to prepare for a hotter Greater Boston Area within the Mystic River Watershed.
To help better understand where extreme heat and urban heat islands are, the team is conducting a heat mapping campaign called Wicked Hot Mystic this summer to collect real-time ambient temperature data (the air we breathe and feel) in the Mystic River Watershed (click here for map). Data collected by volunteers via cars will be used to develop a detailed temperature map to identify heat islands and places people can go to cool off in the Mystic watershed. By understanding where the outdoor hot spots are in the Boston area, cities can more accurately assess and adequately plan for the potential health impacts of extreme heat on people.
We have completed heat mapping for 2021! Thank you to the 80+ volunteers who made this happen. We collected data over the entire Mystic Watershed on August 12th and 13th. Stay tuned for the final heat and air quality maps!
COLLECT DATA ON YOUR OWN TIME VIA ISeeChange! We’re seeking volunteers to collect data via ISeeChange – on your own schedule, at the location of your choosing.
It’s easy! Just post your photo of how the heat is affecting you when you’re out and about and you’ll help inform regional climate and social resilience planning. Examples of posts can be how the heat is affecting you, your neighbors, pets, or areas in your community that are hot or cool.
Sign up for ISeeChange today at https://www.iseechange.org/.
Museum of Science Instagram Live
BARI Conference 2021: Building Back Smarter
From Snow Days to Heat Waves: A Discussion on Health, Heat, and Climate Change
Wicked Hot Mystic: ISeeChange Webinar
Wicked Hot Mystic Information Session
Wicked Hot Mystic: Temperature Data Collection Training
Supported by the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program
In partnership with Mystic River Watershed Association, Resilient Mystic Collaborative, and the Town of Arlington.