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Box and Whisker Graphs: Monthly Snow
Student Contributors: Ryan Aylward, Mississippi State University; Jordan Scampoli, St. Michaels College
Select Variable: Snowfall | Snow Days | Snow Depth

Snow Depth Summary:
Average snow depth increases consistently through its peak in February as snow pack accumulates throughout the winter months at most sites. Increased variance begins to occur in February through April as the snow pack starts to melt. The greatest snow pack can be found in the higher elevations, with 149 inches at Mount Mansfield on the 2nd of April, 1969.
How to Read Box and Whisker Graphs

Box and whisker graphs are used to visualize the data. The intent of the box and whisker format is to give a comprehensive depiction of the variable range, skewness, and extreme values. This provides more detailed information about the variable than, say, a simple statistical mean would. It also facilitates comparison between different months and station locations around WFO Burlington's forecast area.

An example of the diagram format is shown at left. The shaded region of each graph (i.e., "the box") shows the middle 50% of the variable range. The top of the box is the 25th percentile and the bottom is the 75th percentile. The solid line within the box indicates the median (or 50th percentile). The lines extending upward and downward from the box (i.e., "the whiskers") reach to the 10th and 90th percentile of the data distribution. That is, only 10% of the data lies above and below the ends of the whiskers. Lastly, the "x" indicates the extreme (record) value during the entire period of record for that particular location. The period of record is often greater than the standard 30 year period used to create the box and whisker portion of the graph (unless otherwise noted).


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