Descriptive Statistics
Lesson targeted for middle school

What's up with the weather?

This lesson takes advantage of the CLIMVIS Interactive Visual Data Center at the National Weather Service. This is just one idea of a lesson from a site that can literally offer thousands of lessons, and not only on temperature. Following the lesson is an assessment activity. This may take two days of working on the computer.

1.) First, open up two windows on your browser so that you can stay on this lesson and look at the CLIMVIS site.

2.) Click on Time Series under "National Weather Service Summary of the Day."

3.) Scroll down and click on Display One Parameter for Two Stations for One Month.

4.) Once at this site we can start the lesson!

Lesson

We are going to look at the maximum temperature for one month for two cities, Denver and Chicago. The month and year we will look at is January, 1995. Follow these instructions:

1.) Highlight the states Colorado and Illinois and press the continue button.

2.) You will now highlight a National Weather station in each state. Highlight Denver International Airport. The number on the left is 03017. If the graph for Denver does not show up after step 6, use Denver Stapleton Airport, number 23062. Then, highlight Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The number on the left is 94846.

3.) The next parameter should already be set for you. If not, the parameter should be "(A) Daily Maximum Temperature."

4.) Enter the year and month: 1995, January

5.) The Output Format should be "GIF."

6.) Click on "Submit Graph Values."

Now let's answer the following questions together.

1.) Which city had the highest temperature? What was it? What day was it on?





2.) Which city had the lowest temperature? What was it? What day was it on?





3.) If your answer for #1 and #2 is the same city, why do you think this is?





4.) Which city jumped around the most in temperature? Why do you think this city's temperature jumps around more than the other city? (Think of the location of the cities in the United States)





5.) Was there a day in the month where both cities had the same temperature? If so, what day was it and what was the temperature? Give a possible explanation for this.





6.) Which city would you want to live in based on the weather you see? Why?





7.) Which city's weather changed the most during the month? Is this city by a large body of water? You can find out by finding a map of your city through the City Map link at Yahoo. Is the other city by a large body of water? Do you think large bodies of water affect temperature? If so, how?





Assessment Activity

A.) Pick two cities in the U.S. What states are these cities in? These are the states you have to choose at your current site. Click Submit after you have chosen your states.

B.) At this new screen we have two boxes that we can scroll down on. Find your cities in the boxes and highlight them. You may not be able to find your city. Don't Panic! Just pick another city in that state. You may have more than one choice for your city. Don't Panic! Just highlight one.

C.) After you have chosen your cities, scroll down underneath the boxes. You will see a year (probably 1996) and a month (probably January). Change the year to 1995. Then click Submit. You will get a wonderful line graph of the maximum temperature of every day in the month of January, 1995 of the two cities you have chosen. If you only get one graph, then one of the stations is not working. Try to click on another station in that city or just click on another city. When you get a good graph, click on the graph to look at the "gif" file of this graph. Save it to your computer. Now observe the graph and answer the following questions:

1.) Which city had the highest temperature? What was it? What day was it on?





2.) Which city had the lowest temperature? What was it? What day was it on?





3.) If your answer for #1 and #2 is the same city, why do you think this is?





4.) Which city jumped around the most in temperature? Why do you think this city's temperature jumps around more than the other city? (Think of the location of the cities in the United States)





5.) Was there a day in the month where both cities had the same temperature? If so, what day was it and what was the temperature? Give a possible explanation for this.





Now go back to step C and choose February and then answer the same questions. Make sure you save the GIF files of your graphs on your computer for each month. You can stop doing this after June.

Take a look at your six month graphs and answer the following questions using complete sentences. You don't need to be on the Internet anymore. You can look at your graphs through a an image viewer.

1.) Which city would you want to live in based on the weather you see? Why?





2.) Which city's weather changed the most during the year? Is this city by a large body of water? You can find out by finding a map of your city through the City Map link at Yahoo. Is the other city by a large body of water? Do you think large bodies of water affect temperature? If so, how?






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