The difference in temperature between the outdoor mean temperature over a 24-h period and a given baseline (or threshold temperature) (ASHRAE 2005), which can differ depending on the purpose or study. Such purposes include calculations related to energy consumption (Arnell et al. 2013), building envelope requirements (ASHRAE 2005), fueling demand information (NOAA 2013), and extreme weather stress (Watts and Kalkstein 2004). The degree-day is the basis for calculating both the cooling degree-day (CDD), heating degree-day (HDD) and growing degree-day (GDD).

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