In this month’s project, we will implement cluster analysis using the “K-means algorithm”.
We use the weather data from 1500+ locations (near airports) to understand temperature patterns by latitude and time of year.
We use cluster = 5 and assign letter A through E to locations with similar weather patterns. At the end of the analysis, you should be able to interpret the following insights from the resulting graphs and tables:
- Temperature patterns are similar towards the far North and South, just vertically shifted.
- The Pacific coast is different from the rest of the nation, where the temperature is static almost throughout the year.
- It is interesting to see how states in two different parts of the country show similar weather patterns since they are on the same latitude (see Minnesota and Maine). During peak summer, these two states are hotter than California.
A sample graph from the analysis is shown below.
Data set and code files are available from the main Project site page, under the row for Jul/Aug 2017.
Take a look and play around with the data, to investigate the following:
- What happens if you increase cluster size to 7? What happens if you decrease it to 3?
- What is the monthly weather pattern for Hawaii (state code = HI) versus New Hampshire (abbreviation = NH) ?
- What is the weekly average temperature for a tropical state like Florida (plot a chart with median temperatures for all 52 weeks, by year). Has the average temperature gone up due to global warming?
Please leave your thoughts and comments, or questions if you get stuck on any point.