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Pretty, Hot: New Data Visualization Shows Texas’ Increasing Temperatures

Courtesy of Ed Hawkins
University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkins used a stripe of color to represent annual average temperatures every year in Texas from 1895 to 2018 for his #ShowYourStripes project.

Texas is hot. That is not news. It has, seemingly, always been hot. Again, not news. Here is some news: A climate scientist visualized the Lone Star State's average annual temperatures. It shows that Texas (which, again – we've covered – is hot) is getting hotter.

The #ShowYourStripes project shows the average annual temperature in a given geographic area using stripes – with blue stripes representing cooler temperatures and red warmer temperatures.

University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkins first unearthed the project last year, as Gizmodo points out, but today he rolled out an updated slate of graphics, expanding the visualization of climate data in the U.S. to a state level.

Hawkins used National Oceanic and Atmospheric temperature data to create the graphic to depict temperatures in the U.S. in a dataset that stretches back to 1895.

In Texas, the graphic shows nary a blue stripe in the last two decades, with deep crimson stripes in the last two of three years, signifying temperatures well above average. On the whole, Texas' temperatures have consistently been above the global average, which has sharply reddened as of late. (You can compare the two below.)

NOAA predicts South and West Texas could see above average temperatures this summer, while North Texas and a portion of the panhandle could see cooler temperatures. In Central Texas, NOAA says it could go either way, though statewide forecasters at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas – the state's electric grid-operator – predict this summer won't be as hot as 2018 (which was the sixth-hottest of all time) and will likely be milder than average.

Either way, it's safe to expect another red stripe for 2019.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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