Elevation affecting temperature near Lake Superior

General Discussions: ASK John: Elevation affecting temperature near Lake Superior

By matti on Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - 08:56 am: Edit Post

Hi John. I live in Duluth, MN down near the shore of Lake Superior. Usually, on my drive up the hill to work in the morning (about 800' elevation change, I believe), the temperature decreases, on average, 4-6 degrees F. However, this morning, it was -4F at my house and the coldest reading I saw on top of the hill was -16F. I've never seen that much of a difference before in this short 4-mile drive. Is there any particular reason why the delta T would be so much different this morning? Is it "just one of those things?"


By admin on Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - 09:53 am: Edit Post


In the daytime, temps at higher elevations will typically be cooler than those at the low elevations. At night and early in the morning, it will typically be the exact opposite, with the cold air pooling into the low spots.

With that said, there are a number of factors that can lead to other temperature differences within an area. I think in the case you are talking about the open waters of the big lake likely modified the temps down near the shore and as you traveled inland away from the lakes warming influence, the temps dropped.


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