With a lot of the U.S. facing cold temperatures and snow recently, I thought it might be a good time to write about how math helps us explore the weather.
- Basic Math & the Weather – Have you ever noticed how many times numbers appear in news reports on the weather? Consider this recent ABC News article on the storm currently plowing through the East Coast. The number of flights canceled, the amount of snow collected, a comparison with previous snow records, wind measurements, temperatures—reporting on all of these things uses basic math and numbers.
- Algebra, Calculus, & Predicting the Weather – One question a lot of parents and teachers get when it comes to math—especially algebra and upper math—is why it’s needed. Well, to help us predict the weather is one answer! We use lots of algebra and upper math in exploring the weather. For a simple explanation of the use of super computers and equations in weather prediction, see NOAA’s “Weather Prediction: It’s Math!” For more details, see EDN’s “The Math of Meteorology.”
The weather is just one example of how math isn’t a dry textbook exercise—it’s a way to describe God’s creation and help us with real-life tasks.
P.S. Math can be a lot more fun (and make a lot more sense) when students understand why they’re learning what they’re learning and see it in context with real life and science. We offer curriculum and supplemental resources to help you transform math this year.