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American Heat Wave - Narrative Intelligence

June 14, 2022Evan Robert

An unprecedented heat wave is sweeping through the U.S., and almost every state in the lower 48 will be affected to some degree. Media coverage of this event is massive– EdgeTheory's narrative intelligence brief can break down the major themes of the heat wave coverage.

In the past 72 hours, U.S. media outlets have combined for just under 300 narratives on the record-breaking heat wave. Left-leaning outlets are leading the charge on this narrative, amplifying articles over 8x more than right-leaning sources. California, Illinois, and Texas are the top individual states covering the heat wave.

Top sources amplifying by state

Top phrases like "Great Lakes", "Gulf Coast", and "St. Louis" indicate the massive scope of the heat wave, with virtually every region of the U.S. in some way affected by the spike in temperature.

A common thread in the narrative is public safety, with keywords cropping up like "stay indoors", "excessive heat warnings", "reports of injuries". Many areas of the country are exceeding 100 degrees, causing media and public institutions like the national weather service to caution Americans against prolonged outdoor activity.

Top keywords by mention

A notable outgrowth from the heat wave narrative is the flooding of Yellowstone National Park (117 mentions). Although not directly related to the heat wave itself, the the national park's recent closure due to intense flash flooding has caused many in U.S. media to label the two weather events as consequences of climate change.

As the summer is just beginning, the heat wave narrative might not be over for some time. Check back on this narrative intelligence brief to see how U.S. media is covering the heat wave and how the narrative is being shaped every day.

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