Differences Between Climate and Weather

In this activity, students collect weather data over several days or weeks, graph temperature data, and compare the temperature data collected with long-term climate averages from where they live. Understanding the difference between weather and climate and interpreting local weather data are important first steps to understanding larger-scale global climate changes.

Go To:

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Notes From Our Reviewers

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Student groups need to be motivated to do the measurements correctly and reliably over the defined period.

Students need to collect data in a consistent manner each day (approximately the same time and place) to get the best results.

Students (or teacher) could make up their own data collection sheet allowing them to decide what climate variables they want to record.

Depending on teacher's background or comfort level with the science, this activity may require a significant amount of advanced preparation.

Literacy and Resources