ArcGIS Living Atlas

Build a Heat Index Map in 5 Minutes

The U.S. is experiencing a record-breaking heat wave, and you can use the Current Weather and Wind Station Data layer in Living Atlas of the World to monitor conditions using data from NOAA.

This layer is one of my favorites in Living Atlas because it provides 10-12 variables for each airport weather station across the world and updates every hour. But with so many options, the map can become confusing pretty quickly. So let’s set some goals.

  1. Display heat index (the “feels like” temperature)
  2. Include wind information
  3. Provide ancillary information such as dew point

Here’s the map we’re going to build. I should note that it also uses the new hosted feature service version of our Live Feeds weather and disaster layers. Make sure you update any older maps with this new source before your older maps melt too.

map of current heat indexes

OK…here we go…

Configure the Temperature

add weather data from Living Atlas
configuring temperature data

Configure the Winds

Anyone who’s experienced a 100+ day knows that the slightest breeze can make a world of difference. Unfortunately, for many years I was in DC where the air never moves. So I want to scale these circles to show areas where wind is lower as more prominent – it’ll drive the heat index point of the map.

configure wind data
add wind arrows

Labeling the Fields

Next we’ll add in some labels. As we zoom in, we’ll display the Heat Index, Dewpoint, and Wind Speed for each location using a label offset.

label the data
create and label dew point layer

There we go…we’re done. Luckily the layer comes with pre-configured pop-ups, but feel free to modify to shift the initial focus from winds to temperature and heat index.

Good luck…and stay cool!


For questions or comments, please see our GeoNet.

About the author

Dan leads development of ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World environmental content, which includes information about Earth's land, ocean, atmosphere, and ecosystems. Prior to Esri, Dan worked at NOAA for two decades, leading data visualization efforts for research, communications, and education.


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