Was this the warmest January ever?

May 10, 2023 · 2 min read

January 2023 seemed quite warm, but was it the warmest ever January?

Grades 5 - 12

This week, we hope to inspire you with a data visualization about the weather.

In recent years, countries around the world have reported record-breaking temperatures during certain time periods. For many Canadians, this past January felt unusually warm. Our question is: was this the warmest January ever recorded in Canada?

To answer our question we:

Used data from the Government of Canada Historical Climate Data website.

Visualizing the data

In the above visualization, we've plotted the maximum, minimum, and mean temperatures recorded by the Edmonton International Airport weather station. It looks like 2001 saw the warmest January at the Edmonton International Airport in the 21st Century. Hover your mouse over the plot to see the year and temperature at each data point.

On the other hand, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, the temperatures in January 2006 were close to the warmest the city has seen in the last 10 years.

How have the temperatures changed in your area? To find out, check out our January Temperatures Notebook to explore temperatures recorded at different weather stations.

Reflect on what you see

Look and interact with the data visualizations above. When you hover your mouse over the plots, you’ll notice more information appears. You can also use the legend to make plots appear and disappear.

Think about the following questions.

  • What do you notice about these graphs?
  • What do you wonder about the data?

Use the fill-in-the-blank prompts to summarize your thoughts.

  • “I used to think _______”
  • “Now I think _______”
  • “I wish I knew more about _______”
  • “These data visualizations remind me of _______”
  • "I really like _______”

Learn how we visualized the data

Go to our walk-through (in Jupyter notebook format) to see how the data science process was applied to create these graphs, from formulating a question to gathering the data and analyzing the data with code.

Building tomorrow’s digital leaders
Developing data science tools for Canadian K12 classrooms