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Read a Climatogram: Quick Take on Climate

By John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Dec 14, 2010

A climatogram is a graph that summarizes the lows, highs, and average temperatures of a region. It also shows precipitation by month. The values on a climatogram are gleaned from data collected over a period of thirty years or more, so they reflect the climate—the average weather over a long time—not just the current weather. On a climatogram, precipitation by month is shown as a bar graph. The precipitation scale is shown on the left y-axis of the graph. Temperatures are depicted as line graphs, and the temperature scale is located on the right y-axis. Months are listed on the x-axis. In this activity you will examine and interpret a climatogram.

Materials

Climatogram of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (see Figure 14.3)

Activity

1. Examine the climatogram of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2. On the left side of the graph, find the precipitation scale.
3. On the right side of the graph, find the temperature scale.
4. Locate the months along the x-axis.

Follow-Up Questions

1. What is Rio de Janeiro's rainiest month? What is its driest month?
2. Judging by the mean temperature, what is Rio de Janeiro's coolest month? What is its warmest month?
3. In your opinion, what would be the best month to vacation in this locale? Explain your reasoning.

1. December; August.
2. July; February.

Extension

Collect average rainfall and temperature data for your city or county and create a climatogram.