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A systematic evaluation of the lagged effects of spatiotemporally relative surface weather types on wintertime cardiovascular-related mortality across 19 US cities


Previous research using varying methods has shown that the day-to-day variability in cardiovascular (CV)-related mortality is correlated with a number of different meteorological variables, though these relationships can vary geographically. This research systematically examines the relationship between anomalous winter CV-related mortality and geographically and seasonally relative multivariate surface weather types derived from a recently developed gridded weather typing classification (GWTC) for cities in varying climate regions of the United States of America (USA). Results indicate that for all locations examined, during winter, a dry and cool (DC) weather type is significantly related to increased CV-related mortality, especially in the 2 weeks immediately after it occurs, with no apparent mortality displacement. Across the USA as a whole, the peak of this relationship is a 4.1% increase in CV-related mortality at a lag of 3 days. Spike days in CV-related mortality show similar trends, being over 50% more likely 2 to 4 days after the DC type occurs. A humid and warm (HW) weather type exhibited a significant and opposite relationship to that of DC. While these results for DC and HW were statistically significant at every location examined, the magnitudes were larger in the warmer locations. Among other weather types, Warm Front Passages (WFP) were also related to significant increases in CV-related mortality, especially 1 day after they occurred. Though this link was much more varied geographically than results found with DC or HW, it suggests that sequences of multiple DC days followed by WFP may result in increased CV-related mortality.

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Atlanta, Georgia


Boston, Massachusetts


Baltimore, Maryland


Cleveland, Ohio


Washington, D. C.


Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas


Detroit, Michigan


Houston, Texas


Los Angeles, California


New York City, New York


Miami, Florida


Chicago, Illinois


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


San Diego, California


Seattle, Washington


San Francisco, California


St. Louis, Missouri


Tampa, Florida




Cold Front Passage




Dry Cool


Dry Warm




Humid Cool


Humid Warm






Warm Front Passage


Anomalous daily cardiovascular mortality (%)




Gridded weather typing classification


Spike day ratio


Weather type


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The author would like to thank Scott Sheridan in the Department of Geography at Kent State University and Mike Allen in the Department of Political Science and Geography at Old Dominion University for providing the mortality data used in this research. The author would also like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments toward making this a better manuscript. The author declares no conflict of interest for this research.

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Correspondence to Cameron C. Lee.

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Lee, C.C. A systematic evaluation of the lagged effects of spatiotemporally relative surface weather types on wintertime cardiovascular-related mortality across 19 US cities. Int J Biometeorol 59, 1633–1645 (2015).

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  • Synoptic climatology
  • Gridded weather typing classification
  • GWTC
  • Biometeorology
  • Human health
  • Cardiovascular-related mortality