Dashboard Week Day 1 | The Gulf of Mexico Water Temperature

by Priya Padham

Dashboard Week has arrived and the theme will be things that may be impacting the environment, suffering from the changes to our environment and provide evidence that the environment is changing.

Let's get started!

The Data

Our task was to analyse the changes in water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico using data from ArcGIS Hub. I knew that there are a lot of hurricanes in this area, so I wanted to see if I can find any relationship that water temperature has with the number of hurricanes that occur.

The Process

I started by exploring the dataset and seeing what I could come up with. There were a lot of outliers which I had to remove, and I tried to decide what timeframe I wanted to look into. Some of the years did not have much data, so I wanted to stick to the years that had data for every month. I eventually decided to focus in on 2000 – 2013, and to investigate the water temperature during these years.

I noticed that the warmer months had higher water temperatures, and there was an obvious spike during these months. It made me wonder if the higher water temperatures would mean more hurricanes, and upon further investigation I found out that this could be the case. I found some data about the number of hurricanes in Florida during that timeframe and popped it into an Excel spreadsheet so I could bring it into Tableau. I was then able to plot the number of hurricanes against the water temperature and see if there was a relationship between the two.

The Dashboard

Link to dashboard

The top chart shows how more hurricanes occur as the water temperature increases. I also wanted to show the months that hurricanes occurred the most, as well as the months in which water temperature is the highest. In terms of the design, I decided to try something different than what I usually would do. Instead of the title at the top with a filter panel to the side, I put the title and description on the left and all of the content fills the rest of the dashboard.

I did not include a filter panel as I didn’t feel as though anything necessarily needed to be filtered. I would have liked to included some BANs as I think they add a lot to a dashboard when you first look at it. There isn’t really any interactivity on the dashboard, so it would have been great to incorporate that somehow. In the dataset, the depths of the Gulf of Mexico were recorded as well as the temperature, which would have been interesting to include but I could not work out the best way to do this.

Overall, I kept this first dashboard very simple and tried to use supplementary data to provide insight and to help answer the question about if the water temperature of the Gulf of Mexico is linked to hurricanes.