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3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey

U.S. Climate Atlas

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  • This interactive map allows students to view data on the precipitation, minimum temperature, and maximum temperature in the contiguous United States for a specific month and year (1895-2020). 
  • Students can use the compare function to view different types of data maps side by side. 
Teaching Tips


  • This resource is fun and easy to use.
  • The compare function allows students to view a half and half view of the map, two maps side by side, or an animated map that morphs from one data set to the other.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This map only contains data for the contiguous United States.
  • Students may have to scroll up and down in order to see the legend, which is located below the map.
  • The "select year" section defaults to climatology, but students can use the dropdown to select any year between 1895-2020.


  • Elementary science classes could use this resource to give students a visual for how climate change is affecting temperature and precipitation in the United States.
  • History classes could use this resource to compare an historical event, such as precipitation data during the Dust Bowl, with current data. Students could reflect on the migration that took place as a result of the Dust Bowl as people moved from the Great Plains to places like California. Students could then watch this video about how drought is currently affecting Stratford, an agricultural town in California.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video that explains how the world has changed over the last century, this article about changes in climate throughout history, and this article on what governments around the world are doing to adapt to higher temperatures.
Scientist Notes
The resource presents a climatological map of the USA using datasets of over 10,000 stations made available by nClimDiv. Students can visualize the map to understand what climate normals entail, compare monthly and annual records of selected locations, and investigate changes in temperatures and departures. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS2: Earth’s Systems
      • 3-ESS2-2 Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • Geography 1 (F1): Students understand the geography of the community, Maine, the United States, and various regions of the world, and geographic influences on life in the past, present, and future by using the geographic grid and a variety of types of maps, including digital sources, to locate and access relevant geographic information that reflects multiple perspectives.
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