Weather: Temperature Measurement (Grade Levels: 59)
Temperature
Measurement  Wind Chill  Rainfall 
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In the 1700s, G.
Daniel Fahrenheit developed a scale used by meteorologists for measuring
surface temperature. The scale was named for the developer, and the unit
of measure has become known as degree Fahrenheit (F°). Also in the eighteenth
century, a second scale was developed for measuring surface temperature;
it became known as the Celsius scale. The unit of measure in the Celsius
scale is the degree Celsius (C°). A third scale later developed for use
by scientists became known as the Kelvin scale. This scale begins at
absolute zero and is sometimes more convenient to use because it does
not involve negative temperatures. (The word degree is not used in Kevin
measure.)
Citizens of the
United States primarily use the Fahrenheit scale, the rest of the world
uses the Celsius scale, and scientist use either the Celsius or Kelvin
scale. Since we can use three different scales used to measure temperature,
it seems reasonable to have formulas for changing or converting from
scale to the another. Here are some useful conversion formulas.
C° = (F°  32°)
÷ 1.8
F° = 1.8 x C° +
32
K = C°+273
1. If the temperature
is 75° Fahrenheit, what are the equivalent readings on the Celsius and
Kelvin scales?
2. If the temperature
is 26° Celsius, what are the equivalent readings on the Fahrenheit and
Kelvin scales?
3. If the temperature
is 288 Kelvin, what are the equivalent readings on the Celsius and Fahrenheit
scales?
4. Create a formula
to determine the Kelvin temperature give the degrees Fahrenheit.
The following table
shows the normal high temperatures, in degrees Fahrenheit, for each month
for three selected US cities.
City

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Baltimore

41

44

53

65

74

83

87

86

79

68

56

45

San Francisco

57

61

62

63

65

68

69

70

73

70

63

57

St. Louis

38

43

53

67

76

85

89

87

81

69

54

43

5. Use the information
in the table to determine the mean high temperature for each of these
three cities.
6. Based solely
on the mean high temperature, can you easily decide in which city you
might like to live? Why or why not?
7. Use the information
in the table to determine the median high temperature for each of these
three cities.
8. Based solely
on the median high temperature, can you easily decide in which city you
might like to live? Why or why not?
9. Make a box plot
of the monthly high temperatures for each city and compare them. Do the
plots influence your choice of the city? If so, in what way.
10. What information
do you receive from using the box plots that was unavailable from the
mean or the median?
11. Describe another
method you could use to get more information from this table that might
help decide which city might have the best temperature for you.
