Tools & Resources

The Localized Flood Map Screening Tool and the Extreme Heat Map Tool are part of the regional Climate Vulnerability Assessment project for the Twin Cities metro area. The tools have been created for community and stakeholder use in planning for climate change. Each tool includes a helpful instruction document on how to effectively use the tool.

The Localized Flood Map Screening Tool gives metro communities and stakeholders the opportunity to determine what areas and assets may be subject to potential localized flood risk during short-term, extreme rain events. The tool identifies localized Flood Hazards, referred to as Bluespots. These Bluespots are broken into categories of flood water depth increments based on the exposure and sensitivity of Council assets and infrastructure. We hope that this tool will help cities prioritize policy and implementation strategies (for instance, targeted green infrastructure or storm water design improvements that may reduce localized flood risk). 

The data is derived from the topography of the earth contained in the State of Minnesota's 3-meter digital elevation model (DEM) built from the state's LiDAR effort. In the absence of regional storm water data, potential localized flooding locations are determined based on depressions in the DEM. Given this constraint, the Council encourages use of storm water data and other relevant data, including site-specific analysis, to verify areas of potential localized flood risk. 

The Extreme Heat Map Tool shows the land surface temperature data for the Twin Cities metro area. Communities may use this tool to determine which areas within their community are most susceptible to extreme heat. We hope that this tool will help cities prioritize policy and implementation strategies (for instance, targeted tree planting or design improvements that may mitigate risks associated with extreme heat). The effect of this heat is often called the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI) which consists of urban or rural center areas that are significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas due to human activities.

The tool is useful in demonstrating the difference in land surface temperature across the metro region due to the existing built and natural environment, a product of land use, site design, and land cover. By changing our built and natural environments through policies, implementation, and sensible site design, we can reduce this extreme heat effect and thereby improve public health and livability.

A map of land surface temperature highlights differences in temperature across the region. Raster data of land surface temperature is available for custom mapping and analysis (2022 data and 2016 data).
Story Maps are a powerful tool in communicating data and analysis in a simple to understand visual format which includes photos, text, maps, and graphics.

Our Localized Flooding Story Map explores the issue of localized flooding within our region. The resource includes localized examples and recommended adaptation and mitigation strategies for Council and stakeholder consideration. The Story Map details why localized flooding matters and how the Council and communities can incorporate localized flooding data, tools, and resources into decision-making.

Stories from across the region describe the impact of extreme heat and the importance of taking action to reduce the impact of heat.

A link to the extreme heat storymap.

If you wish to download the Localized Flooding and Extreme Heat data for your own usage, you can find the two foundational data sets on MN Geospatial Commons: