javascript,arrays,undefined , JavaScript: global array variable returned undefined

JavaScript: global array variable returned undefined


Tag: javascript,arrays,undefined

JavaScript newbie here. I've searched and searched for answers and can't seem to figure this out. The arrays that I'm passing to a function aren't being passed as references properly. I don't think this is an async issue like many posts allude to but I could be wrong.

I have global arrays that I'm passing to a function. Inside the function, the arrays return their proper values, but when I try to access them outside of the function, they are undefined.

For context, I'm passing 3 arrays that hold the dry-bulb temperature, wet-bulb temperature, and hour that the measurements were taken for later calculations. I've only included a few sample data points for brevity. Sample code below:

function run(){
    var hour = [];
    var db = [];
    var wb = [];
    var cities = ["AB Edmonton","MI Detroit"];
    getData(hour, db, wb, cities); 
    //this shows undefined, although within getData it is accurate data

function getData(hour, db, wb, cities){
    //i= drop-down selection index, set to zero for testing

    switch(cities[i]) {
        case "AB Edmonton":
            hour = [1,2,3];
            db = [15,18,21];
            wb = [10,13,20];
        //case "MI Detroit":....

    //this shows accurate values in the alert window
    alert(cities[i] + " at hour:" + hour[i] + " the temp is:" + db[i]);

    return [hour, db, wb];


run assigns empty arrays to hour, db and wb. These are variables which are locally scoped to the run function.

It then calls getData and passes those arrays as arguments.

Inside getData new local variables (also named hour, db and wb) are declared and are assigned the three empty arrays that were passed when the function was called.

The function then ignores those values and overwrites them with new arrays (these ones have contents).

It then returns another new array which holds each of those arrays.

This brings us back to run. The return value of getData is ignored completely and the original arrays (which are still stored in the hour, db and wb variables that belong to run) are accessed (but they are still empty).

You can either:


function run(){
    var cities = ["AB Edmonton","MI Detroit"];
    var data = getData(cities); 

function getData(cities){
    //i= drop-down selection index, set to zero for testing
    var i=0; // Use locally scoped variables where possible
    var hour, db, wb;

    switch(cities[i]) {
        case "AB Edmonton":
            hour = [1,2,3];
            db = [15,18,21];
            wb = [10,13,20];
        //case "MI Detroit":....

    //this shows accurate values in the alert window
    alert(cities[i] + " at hour:" + hour[i] + " the temp is:" + db[i]);

    return { hour: hour, db: db, wb: wb];


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