Here are graphs made from the 1995 BATS temperature data. As part of the lesson plan, each student in the classroom could be responsible for graphing data from one month. Each student would then post results in an on-line data center, to share with the rest of the class. The results could then be compiled, resulting in summary graphs as above.
These summaries show how students can use real ocean data to see how ocean temperature structure changes with season. In January through May at BATS the winter and spring winds mix the water column deep. During the summer the surface waters warm and form a stable warm layer at the top, with a steep thermocline. This continues through the early fall. During October and November, decreasing temperatures and increasing winter storms continue to cool the surface water, and the mixed layer deepens with each month.
Note that this annual pattern was disrupted in 1995. In August 1995 Hurricane Felix passed over Bermuda. Its high winds cooled and mixed the surface layers, as can be seen in the August profile and in these satellite images from the BATS satellite laboratory. In September the surface re-warmed.