Projects and Initiatives

Extreme Heat Vulnerability2024-02-13T14:23:48-08:00

Extreme Heat Vulnerability

Southern Nevada has among the hottest climates in the U.S. and has been identified as one of the fastest-warming regions in the country. And recent research predicts the region will experience a significant increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events in the coming decades.

Increasing temperatures in the region are associated with and contribute to a host of negative impacts – from poorer air quality to added wear and tear on infrastructure. But, most importantly, studies have found a clear link between increasing temperatures and increasing heat-related deaths and hospitalizations.

Despite the history of adverse health impacts associated with extreme heat in our region, experts hold that many of these outcomes are preventable. Reducing future adverse outcomes require developing effective and coordinated responses, as well as improving the awareness of public health officials and the general public about the health risks associated with extreme heat. This is especially critical in areas with populations most vulnerable during extreme heat events.

Through the development of a heat vulnerability index and map, the “Southern Nevada Extreme Heat Vulnerability Analysis” identifies areas in the region where populations are at high risk to extreme heat. Click here for the final report.



The Southern Nevada Extreme Heat Vulnerability Webmap visualizes the spatial distribution of extreme heat vulnerability among the region’s population. Red areas represent those with populations most vulnerable to extreme heat. Click below to view the interactive map.



While everyone is vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat to some extent, impacts are not evenly distributed. Certain populations are more at risk due to environmental, demographic, socioeconomic, and physiological factors. Current examination and discussion of extreme heat vulnerability center around three components of heat vulnerability, which take these factors into account.

  • Exposure to extreme heat – Weather patterns, as well as both the natural and built environments can influence levels of exposure to extreme heat.
  • Sensitivity to extreme heat – Demographic, physiological, and health factors may predispose individuals to greater risk from exposure during extreme heat events.
  • Adaptive capacity – The ability to prepare for or cope with extreme heat impacts, whether through economic, political, or social resources.

This framework served as a foundation for the Southern Nevada Extreme Heat Vulnerability Analysis. Taking this comprehensive and multidimensional approach to analyzing heat vulnerability that includes social, health, and place-based influences helps ensure the interventions developed as a result will target those most at-risk, while also addressing environmental and social justice.

Click image to enlarge


Extreme Heat r Southern Nevada Strong

The “Southern Nevada Strong Regional Plan” is a community-driven guide for making the region more livable, prosperous, and sustainable. The “Southern Nevada Extreme Heat Vulnerability Analysis” helps advance several strategies in the regional plan that aim to address the region’s warming climate and the negative impacts associated with it.

The RTC serves as the core administrator of the SNS regional plan. Within the agency, the MPO’s regional planning staff manages projects that both support direct implementation of SNS and provide research and technical assistance to regional partners that assist in their implementation efforts.

Project Documents

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Paul Gully
Senior Regional Planner
[email protected] | 702-676-1714

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Contact us for more information, questions, or to request language translation or accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

Phone: (702) 676-1500

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