686 Influence of "Small" Elevation Changes on Mesoscale Temperature Variations

Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Nathan Crowdus, Western Kentucky Univ., Bowling Green, KY; and R. Mahmood

The Kentucky Mesonet is a research-grade world class weather and climate observing network of 68 stations that provides quality assured 5 minute temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, relative humidity, dew point temperature, wind speed and direction data. However, with 68 of these stations distributed throughout the Commonwealth, mesonet enables one to take note of localized variations in weather and climate as well. For this research, we have investigated data from six stations which constitutes three pairs. These pairs are: Cumberland and Metcalf County stations, Lewis and Mason County stations, and Marshall and Graves County stations. Again, in any pair, one station is located at a slightly higher elevation compared to the other. It is found that, for example, the Cumberland County station consistently experienced much cooler minimum temperatures with an elevation roughly about 500 feet lower than Metcalf County station. We suggest that topography of the landscape is responsible for this mesoscale temperature differences. It is also found that there is seasonality in these differences and the fall season recorded largest differences. We have also analyzed maximum temperatures, wind speed, solar radiation, and precipitation data to further understand the results. High spatio-temporal density of Kentucky Mesonet stations allowed us to identify and quantify impacts of small elevation variations on temperature.
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