Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wind Chill Charts

Air Bag, Wind Sock, Weather, SkyOver the weekend while being a line judge for the volleyball scrimmage, I wondered how certain charts would look if placed into a more linear form.  In other words, what if I took the information from a standard wind chill chart and created a line graph out of it?

I know that sounds crazy but a standard chart does not give the reader a good feel for what is happening but sometimes a line graph shows the information better.

So after finding a wind chill chart with the wind speed in knots and the temperature in Fahrenheit, I typed the data into an Excel spreadsheet.  I could have used mph for wind speed but knots is the usual around here. 

I enjoyed the results once they came up.  I did not bother putting all the axis and labels in just because I wanted to see how they looked.  What can one see in the pattern of the temperatures as the wind increases.

Isn't it a beauty?  Each color represents a different row of data for the temperatures.  On the other hand, I could have shown it by column and it no longer has a linear appearance.

Notice this time the lines are a bit more curved.  Which one is better?  The one that is based on temp being the primary focus with the wind speed secondary or vice versa?

This could lead to some great discussions on which factor is the dependent and independent or perhaps its harder to tell.  One could ask the students is this a true linear equation when showing the first graph?  They'd have to look to see if there is a consistent change?

I am looking at this as a fun exercise to get students thinking about graphing and ways of interpreting the data. Even exploring the idea of is this a valid way to represent the data?  What do you think?