International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 61, Issue 7, pp 1247–1260 | Cite as

Social media responses to heat waves

  • Jihoon JungEmail author
  • Christopher K. Uejio
Original Paper


Social network services (SNSs) may benefit public health by augmenting surveillance and distributing information to the public. In this study, we collected Twitter data focusing on six different heat-related themes (air conditioning, cooling center, dehydration, electrical outage, energy assistance, and heat) for 182 days from May 7 to November 3, 2014. First, exploratory linear regression associated outdoor heat exposure to the theme-specific tweet counts for five study cities (Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta). Next, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) time series models formally associated heat exposure to the combined count of heat and air conditioning tweets while controlling for temporal autocorrelation. Finally, we examined the spatial and temporal distribution of energy assistance and cooling center tweets. The result indicates that the number of tweets in most themes exhibited a significant positive relationship with maximum temperature. The ARIMA model results suggest that each city shows a slightly different relationship between heat exposure and the tweet count. A one-degree change in the temperature correspondingly increased the Box-Cox transformed tweets by 0.09 for Atlanta, 0.07 for Los Angeles, and 0.01 for New York City. The energy assistance and cooling center theme tweets suggest that only a few municipalities used Twitter for public service announcements. The timing of the energy assistance tweets suggests that most jurisdictions provide heating instead of cooling energy assistance.


Heat wave Social media Time series ARIMA Cooling center Energy assistance 



This publication was developed under Assistance Agreement (RD no. 83574901) awarded by the US Environmental Protection Agency to Christopher K. Uejio. It has not been formally reviewed by the EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the agency. EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this publication.

Supplementary material

484_2016_1302_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1322 kb)


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Copyright information

© ISB 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Program in Public HealthFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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