Background Information

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collects large amounts of data to examine the local climate and weather of almost every city in the nation.

Climate is the sum of all statistical weather information that helps describe a place or region over a specified period of time (usually decades). Many years of data are required to indicate a trend in the climate. Even when there appears to be a trend, scientists can disagree about the meaning and causes of the trend.

Travelers may need to know what kind of weather and temperatures to expect in a region along their route. Meteorologists can use statistics to give expected averages for travelers, but each day's weather can vary considerably. During the weather report on the local news you can expect to hear statistics about the local temperature.

  • Range is the difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures.

  • Mean is the average temperature; the sum of all temperatures divided by the number of observations made.

  • Median is the middle number in the range of temperatures arranged in order from the highest to the lowest.

  • Mode is the temperature that occurs most often.




Procedure

  1. On your data plot graph in Figure 7.1, complete the temperature scale on the vertical axis of your plot, numbering by 5s.

  2. Also in Figure 7.1, on the horizontal axis, number each day of the month from 1 to 31.

    Figure 7.1. Temperature Summary for July 1991 and January 1992
    (Temperatures in Degrees Fahrenheit)
    Print at 92% for use in this Activity.
    In this part of Activity 7, you will be plotting four curves on the same graph, two for July and two for January. Use one color for the July curves, starting at Day 1, and use a different colored pencil to draw the January curves, also starting at Day 1.

  3. The daily maximum and minimum temperature range includes all temperatures at and between the lowest and highest values observed for each day. Using the data provided in Table 7.1, calculate the temperature range, the plot the observed daily temperature range for each day in July. Connect the points to make a line graph.

    Table 7.1.Temperature Summary for July 1991 and January 1992
    (Temperatures in Degrees Fahrenheit)
    Print at 92% for use in this Activity.
  4. Repeat the process in (3) for each day in January, using a different colored pencil.

  5. For each day in July, plot the maximum and minimum temperatures for the day. Then connect the maximum and minimum temperature for the same day with a straight vertical line on your graph.

  6. Repeat the process in (5) for each day in January, using a different color.

  7. For each day in July, find the average daily temperature and mark it with an "X" on the vertical line for that day.

    Hint: You can read this temperature from the data table.

    When you finish, place a title on your graph.







Questions

  1. What is the MEAN temperature for each month?

      July 1991 January 1992
        Maximum_______________
        Maximum_______________
        Minimum_______________
        Minimum_______________


  2. What is the MEDIAN temperature for each month?

      July 1991 January 1992
        Maximum_______________
        Maximum_______________
        Minimum_______________
        Minimum_______________


  3. What is the MODE temperature for each month?

      July 1991 January 1992
        Maximum_______________
        Maximum_______________
        Minimum_______________
        Minimum_______________


  4. What was the weather like on July 20 and 21?

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    Why?

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  5. On what day(s) in January is(are) the temperature(s) not typical?

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    How is(are) it(they) different from the other temperatures?

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  6. What is the average temperature for January 15?

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  7. On what days in July are the temperatures exactly normal?

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  8. How do the temperatures during January compare or contrast to the overall temperatures of July?

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    Why? ______________________________________________________________________

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  9. If we wanted to look at a topic such as global warming, what climatic evidence would we need to examine?

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Figure 7.2. Questions Sheet
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Conclusions

Review the problem stated in the workstation screen graphic
at the top of this web page and write your conclusions here.



Figure 7.3. Conclusions Sheet
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