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"Climate stripes" graphics show U.S. trends by state and county

Climate scientist Ed Hawkins put the idea “a picture is worth a thousand words” into practice back in 2018 when he created the graphics that have become known as “Climate Stripes.” These bar-code-like images turn a location’s annual climate data into rows of colored stripes that show yearly temperature and precipitation compared to the long-term average—red bars for warm years, and blue for cool ones; green for wet years, and brown for dry ones.

Inspired by Hawkins’ images, our collection of Climate Stripes images is based on the NOAA climate record for U.S. states; counties; Washington, D.C.; and selected stations in Hawaii.

  • Access the collection through the interactive embedded below.
  • Some of the interactive features work within the web page, but for best experience, open the Story Map in a new window. Then use the scroll bar to access the maps.

National stripes

Below are the climate stripes for the contiguous United States. (Alaska and Hawaii aren't included because their climate records do not go as far back in time as the "Lower 48" states.) According to NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, the annual average temperature of the United States has warmed at a rate of 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit per decade between 1895 and 2022. The darkest red bar that appears near the right side of the temperature image is the current warmest year on record for the country—2012, when the annual average temperature was 55.28 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.26 degrees warmer than the 20th-century average of 52.02 degrees Fahrenheit.

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