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Elevation Effects on Air Temperature in a Topographically Complex Mountain Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees

AuthorsNavarro‐Serrano, Francisco; López-Moreno, Juan I. ; Azorín-Molina, César ; Alonso-González, Esteban; Aznarez-Balta, Marina; Buisán, Samuel T.; Revuelto, Jesús
KeywordsAir temperature
Complex terrain
Cluster analysis
Lapse rates
Weather types
Issue Date19-Jun-2020
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationAtmosphere 11(6): 656 (2020)
AbstractAir temperature changes as a function of elevation were analyzed in a valley of the Spanish Pyrenees. We analyzed insolation, topography and meteorological conditions in order to understand how complex topoclimatic environments develop. Clustering techniques were used to define vertical patterns of air temperature covering more than 1000 m of vertical elevation change. Ten locations from the bottom of the valley to the summits were monitored from September 2016 to June 2019. The results show that (i) night-time lapse rates were between −4 and −2 °C km−1, while in the daytime they were from −6 to −4 °C km−1, due to temperature inversions and topography. Daily maximum temperature lapse rates were steeper from March to July, and daily minimum temperatures were weaker from June to August, and in December. (ii) Different insolation exposure within and between the two analyzed slopes strongly influenced diurnal air temperatures, creating deviations from the general lapse rates. (iii) Usually, two cluster patterns were found (i.e., weak and steep), which were associated with stable and unstable weather conditions, respectively, in addition to high-low atmospheric pressure and low-high relative humidity. The results will have direct applications in disciplines that depend on air temperature estimations (e.g., snow studies, water resources and sky tourism, among others).
Description© 2020 by the authors.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060656
Appears in Collections:(IPE) Artículos
(CIDE) Artículos
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