Skip to main content

Globe Connections

Finding Freedom: A Mini Data Exploration

In Learning Sequence 2 of GLOBE Weather, students review temperature, relative humidity, and pressure data before and after a cold front moved through the atmosphere above Freedom High School in Virginia, where a GLOBE weather station recorded the data.

This GLOBE Connection is an opportunity for students to access the GLOBE database using the GLOBE Online Visualization Tool. Students will view data from Freedom High School during a specific time period (October 10-October 25, 2016) and look for similar patterns in temperature, relative humidity, and pressure data that indicate that a cold front moved through this location. Additionally, students can compare these findings to another GLOBE school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania to compare when the cold front moved through each site. 

Note: The Visualization Tool has daily averages (daily max, daily min), so students will be able to identify which day the front moved through.


Student Directions

Using the GLOBE Online Visualization Tool, find daily average temperature from Freedom High School in October, 2016.

STEP 1: Go to the GLOBE Online Visualization Tool:

STEP 2: Find temperature data by clicking on the Protocol Layers icon .

Click on Atmosphere to bring up all of the GLOBE atmospheric protocols. Under Air Temperature, click on Daily Average Temperatures. Click the green Submit button.

Protocol layers    Contour Layers

STEP 3: Find Freedom High School: Click on the Filter icon .

Click on the arrow next to Find a Site and then Choose Site by School in the filter box. Enter Freedom High School (USVAGZGJ) and click Submit. As an alternative, students can browse data points in northern Virginia.

Choose Site   Choose School

Map of northern Virginia

STEP 4: The Time Series plot will pop up.

Time Series Plot example

To change the data to daily average temperature, click Air Temperature Dailies (shown above), and select Air Temperature (shown below).

Air Temperature example

STEP 5: Click on the Custom tab just below the time series plot and change the dates to 2016-10-16 and 2016-10-25. Click on Plot. The graph showing daily average temperatures will be displayed on the screen.

Click plot example

STEP 6: Repeat steps 1-5, this time finding relative humidity for the same date range. Select the Relative Humidities option from the dropdown menu (same list as air temperature). Make sure to click the Plot button.

Relative Humidities example

STEP 7: Repeat steps 1-5, this time finding barometric pressure for the same date range. Meteorologists use sea level pressure instead of the station pressure to account for elevation differences if the station is not at sea level.

STEP 8: Compare the data from Freedom High School to another GLOBE school located in Pottstown, Pennsylvania during this same time period to see if you can determine when the cold front moved through this second site. Click on Choose Site by School and enter in O.J. Roberts Middle School.

STEP 9: Try this same exercise with a weather station nearest to where you live during a time that there was a recent cold front moving through. Are the patterns the same as the cold front example from Freedom High School and O.J. Roberts Middle School?