Heat Watch 2023

Chicago skyline with the expressway in the foreground

Chicago, along with 17 other communities across the country, built a team of resident scientists to measure heat across communities this summer. Factors like humidity, tree coverage, air flow, heavy traffic, humidity, and the density of buildings and concrete each contribute to how intense the heat feels. On July 28, 2023, over three shifts (morning, midday, and evening) volunteers traveled routes with heat sensors on their own cars. Each sensor records temperature, humidity, time, and location. This information is being analyzed and will be used to give Chicago residents and government decision-makers a clearer picture of ways to improve Chicago’s heat safety strategies. And now, the results are in!

Review the results and see how this information will provide Chicago residents and government decision-makers a clearer picture of ways to improve Chicago’s heat safety strategies. Attend our Heat Watch Chicago Report Launch Event with the Heat Watch Chicago team, the Northwestern University Buffett Institute Defusing Disasters Working Group, community partners, and others, on Wednesday, December 13, at 6 pm at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health. 

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Photo Gallery: Activation Day

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Click the images below to view at full size:

Cool Chi Community Tour

Saturday, December 9

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Southeast Side: Hegewisch and Riverdale

Led by People for Community Recovery and Southeast Environmental Task Force

Heat Watch Chicago Report Launch Event

Wednesday, December 13

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

UIC School of Public Health

1603 W. Taylor Street, Auditorium Room 109, Chicago, IL 60612

Cool Chi Community Tour

Friday, December 16

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Southwest Side: North Lawndale and Little Village

Led by Mi Villita Neighbors and Homan Grown L3C

Hear from Mayor Brandon Johnson as he highlights the importance of Heat Watch 2023 and thanks all 550+ volunteers who signed up to participate:

Building Heat Watch Routes

During an extreme heat event, neighborhoods may experience the heat differently. 

Throughout the summer, community partners and residents identified places in their neighborhoods that get really warm during the summer or places that are great places to visit for beating the heat. From these points, the Heat Watch team built driving routes that volunteers used on Activation Day. View all 29 routes, with starting points “A” and ending points “B”, as well as starred Activation Day hubs.

Click the image to view the route map at full size.

Our Partners

Heat Watch 2023 is fully funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Program Office and Northwestern University's Buffett Institute for Global Affairs Defusing Disasters working group.