GHWR, a multi-method global heatwave and warm-spell record and toolbox

Ehsan Raei, Mohammad Reza Nikoo, Amir Aghakouchak, Omid Mazdiyasni, Mojtaba Sadegh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Heatwaves are extended periods of unusually high temperatures with significant societal and environmental impacts. Despite their significance, there is not a generalized definition for heatwaves. In this paper, we introduce a multi-method global heatwave and warm-spell data record and analysis toolbox (named GHWR). In addition to a comprehensive long-term global data record of heatwaves, GHWR allows processing and extracting heatwave records for any location efficiently. We use traditional constant temperature threshold methods, as well as spatially and temporally localized threshold approaches to identify heatwaves. GHWR includes binary (0/1) occurrence records of heatwaves/warm-spells, and annual summary files with detailed information on their frequency, duration, magnitude and amplitude. GHWR also introduces the standardized heat index (SHI) as a generalized statistical metric to identify heatwave/ warm-spells. SHI has direct association with the probability distribution function of long-term daily temperatures for any given calendar day and spatial grid. Finally, GHWR offers a unique opportunity for users to select the type of heatwave/warm-spell information from a plethora of methods based on their needs and applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number180206
JournalScientific data
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Information Systems
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Library and Information Sciences


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