Math in a Minute: Weather Edition

Volume 3 Issue 24

Measuring the Temperature

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°). Citizens of the United States primarily use the Fahrenheit scale, the rest of the world uses the Celsius scale.

Go to and look up any place in the world! See if you can figure out what the temperature is there in Celsius and Fahrenheit!

C° = (F° - 32°) ÷ 1.8

F° = 1.8 x C° + 32

What was the weather like the day you were born?

What was the weather like on the day you were born?  This website shows you data for the weather in the city and on any day you choose.

Learners can use this data to build graphs. Using the information, can we determine what season they were born in?

Boston's Record Breaking Weather

This year Boston has received more than 100 inches of snow!  Watch this video to see just how much they received!

Record Snow - The Weather Channel

How many feet of snow did they get?
Coppell got 4 or 5 inches of snow this March. How much more snow did they get than we did?
How much taller than you would the snow be in Boston?

Hottest Day in the United States

On July 10, 1913, the hottest temperature ever in the United States was recorded in Death Valley, California.  It was a record breaking 56.7 °C (134 °F)!  That is really hot!  But how hot is it?

Was it hotter than today?
Was it hotter than when water boils?
Was it hotter than when chocolate melts? (34°C)

How does the temperature then compare to the temperature today?  

Without looking at the temperature, was it hotter then than today? How do you know without looking at the temperature?
Was it colder? How much colder

Texas Weather Records

The following website has weather records in Texas. Use it to graph extremes, or find differences.

Fractions in the Weather

The weather challenge website is a quick and easy resource to use to find out the weather.  But did you know that you can see what the weather was like each month?  If you go to and click on the toolbar that says "monthly" you can see the weather for the month.  
  • Learners can look back at each day in the month and discuss how rainy it was, how cloudy it was or how sunny it was... all while using fractional terms!  
  • Learners can compare two month's weather and compare the fractions. **If learner should be using like denominators, choose two months that have the same number of days.

Names of Hurricanes

Hurricanes occur every year and sometimes two or three hurricanes can be active at the same time. Using names for these storms makes it much easier for meteorologists, researchers, emergency response workers, ship captains and citizens to communicate about specific hurricanes and be clearly understood.
For that reason the World Meteorological Organization develops a list of names that are assigned in alphabetical order to tropical storms as the are discovered in each hurricane season. Names can be repeated after an interval of six years, but the names of especially severe storms are permanently retired from use.

In 2015, the following names will be given to hurricanes: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, Wanda
In 2014, the following names were given to hurricanes: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, Wilfred

There are normally fewer than 21 named tropical storms in any calendar year. In the rare years when more than 21 storms are named the additional storms are given names from the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta are used for their names.

What patterns do you notice?