What Is a Climate Graph?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 6, 2020 6:59:50 AM ET

A climate graph is a type of chart that uses both line and bar graphs to compare temperature and precipitation in a given geographic region over a specific period of time. In all climate graphs, the date range is represented by numbers at the bottom of the chart. The dates can include any period of time, though longer spans, such as months or years, are the most common.

Temperature is represented using a standard line graph. In most cases, the temperature ranges used are shown on the right side of the chart. A line runs across showing the temperatures throughout the given time period. The final component of a climate graph, the precipitation, is shown by a bar graph, with the data displayed on the left side of the graph. The bar showing the cumulative or average precipitation for each date in the graph intersects with the temperature line, demonstrating the relationship between temperature and precipitation in that region.

Climate graphs allow students, meteorologists and other officials to monitor the long-term change in a region’s climate. It is important to note that climate is different from weather in that it is the study of environmental changes and conditions over time, while weather refers to short-term conditions.