Mapping record-breaking temperatures in 2012

As Minnesotans, we’re used to strange weather. This year has surprised even the most stalwart residents, from 60 degree temperatures in the first week of January to the warmest March on record in the Twin Cities.

We’ve mapped the record-breaking temps at airports around Minnesota. Click through the list on the left to see the new and previous records, or press play to see all the records visualized on the map — the bigger the circle, the bigger the change from the previous record.

Station data provided by NOAA and weather record data provided by PBS.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Dale Trexel on 04/11/2012 - 10:45 am.

    Accuracy in Math

    I really love what MinnPost is doing with open web mapping! I hope to see much more of it in the future. However, I have to quibble with the math in the caption of this entry.

    First of all, 55.0 is 144.7% of 38.0, which is an increase of only 44.7%, not an increase of 146%. An increase of 38.0 BY 146% would actually be 93.5 degrees.

    But second, Fahrenheit is a temperature system with an arbitrary zero, so the only value in calculating percentages based on Fahrenheit is to create seemingly large numbers to impress readers. For the percentages to have any real meaning, you’d need to convert to a temperature scale with a legitimate zero: like the Kelvin scale. In Kelvin, 38F converts to 276 and 55 converts to 286. So now you have records being broken by 3.6% which may not impress many readers, but would probably actually be rather impressive to science and weather geeks.

    • Submitted by Alan Palazzolo on 04/11/2012 - 11:26 am.

      Thanks (and fixed)

      Hi Dale.  Thanks for the kind words and finding those inaccuracies.  I have removed that aggregate statement as it is not very crucial to the presentation.

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