Now let's take a look at the following two temperature maps. The first map reveals the average daily temperature for the summer month of August and the bottom map gives information for the winter month of January (both in degrees Fahrenheit).

Summer Temperature Map

Winter Temperature Map

The legend of the temperature maps state the average (mean) daily temperature in degrees Fahrenheit for both January and August. South Carolina is all blue on the January map, therefore its average temperature would fall between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Georgia, on the other hand, is both orange and red on the August map and would require me to average its temperatures. I could use its high numbers [(80 + 90)/2 = 85 degrees Fahrenheit], its low numbers [(70 + 80)/2 = 75 degrees Fahrenheit], or its numbers in-between [(75 + 85)/2 = 80 degrees Fahrenheit]. I should still end up with a reasonable number. Do I have to do that much to figure out the average? No way! Look at the legend again. The orange section's range is 70.1-80 degrees Fahrenheit and the red section's range is 80.1-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Couldn't I just say that the number where one ends and the other begins is the average? Sure. Therefore, the average of Georgia's daily temperature for August is approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If I was asked what the highest average temperature was for Georgia in August, I have to look at the whole state and would conclude that is was around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. What if I was asked to identify the lowest average temperature for Tennessee in January? If I look closely I can see a speck of pink in Tennessee, so 20 degrees Fahrenheit would be a reasonable answer.

Let's practice reading the temperature maps.
  1. What is the highest average temperature Ohio saw in January? 32 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. What is the lowest average temperature Oregon saw in August? 50.1 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Which state had the higher average temperature in January, Minnesota or Pennsylvania? Pennsylvania By approximately how much? 32 - 20 = 12 degrees
  4. Which state had the higher average temperature in August, Florida or Nevada? Florida
  5. What is Arizona's average temperature in January for the state? Arizona has 4 colors on it in close to equal amounts, so I averaged the 4 high temperatures. (32 + 40 + 50 + 60)/4 = 182/4 = 45.5 degrees Fahrenheit. I also could have "eyeballed" the average. The purple and the blue sections are most in the middle. The high number for the purple section is 40 and the low number for the blue section is 40.1, therefore Arizona's average temperature is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Both answers are reasonable and correct.


Complete the Regions--Temperature Activity to get more practice reading the temperature maps.

Go to Regions Quiz 2--Climate to take a 10-point quiz. You are only allowed three attempts so don't submit your answers until after you've double-checked your answers. You may use your United States of America Map to help you.