5.1 Project: Weather data

Trying to tell a story about unusual weather? Whether you’re covering a hot summer, snowy winter, or busy hurricane season, one of the first questions you’ll want to answer is: How does this stack up with previous summers/winters/hurricane seasons? “We had 8.3 inches of rain last month” won’t mean much to your audience unless they know if that’s unusual.

In other words: A data point alone isn’t nearly as interesting as one in context. So, when coming up with questions to ask your data, make sure at least one or two start off: “How does this compare with…?”

R can help you answer those questions. Let’s take a look at some snowfall data and start doing some basic analysis.