Spatial and Seasonal Variations of Air Temperature Lapse Rates in Alpine Regions. Rolland, C. Journal of Climate, 16(7):1032–1046, April, 2003.
doi  abstract   bibtex   
Air temperature decrease with altitude was estimated by simple linear regression for several regions around northern Italy for minimum, maximum, and mean monthly temperatures. The comparison of the gradients with previous works revealed the absence of a lapse rate seasonal pattern in most earlier studies. Such inconsistencies in other analyses were demonstrated to be largely due to insufficient climatic stations in each area, and incomplete temporal coverage. These problems were solved here by using 269 stations in northern Italy, 205 in the Tyrol area, and 166 in the Trentin?Upper Adige region, covering a wide range of elevations and based on at least 30-yr means. Yearly lapse rates ranging from ?0.54\textdegree to ?0.58°C (100 m)?1 were obtained. As hypothesized, a seasonal pattern in monthly gradient variations was observed, regardless of location, and with higher lapse rates during summer. Weather stations on valley bottoms were distinguished from those located on slopes, the former group being heavily influenced by a cold-air drainage process. Both differences in temperatures at sea level and lower lapse rates on valley bottoms explained minimum temperature variation with exposure, mainly due to temperature inversions. On the other hand, maximum temperature changes with topography mostly imply differences among the lapse rates themselves, attributed to a stronger sun warming of slopes. Since lapse rates may be used for monthly temperature spatial interpolation, an analysis of cross-validated interpolation errors was performed, to assess the method accuracy. The highest interpolation reliability was founded for maximum temperature, especially for summer values, and even when topographic information was not available (with an accuracy about 1°C in most cases). The degree to which topographic differences influence the lapse rate determination was also quantified. The addition of topographic information appeared to significantly increase the temperature interpolation reliability, especially for slope sites, and was required for both minimum and winter temperature reconstruction. Thus, the interpolation error of January minimum temperature in slope stations was reduced from 2.8\textdegree to 1.1°C by using such a technique. Finally, the lapse rate's spatial variability was shown to be a potential source of error, especially when the region exceeds a 1\textdegree width latitude area, whereas longitude role was shown to be less crucial.
@article{rollandSpatialSeasonalVariations2003,
  title = {Spatial and Seasonal Variations of Air Temperature Lapse Rates in {{Alpine}} Regions},
  author = {Rolland, Christian},
  year = {2003},
  month = apr,
  volume = {16},
  pages = {1032--1046},
  issn = {1520-0442},
  doi = {10.1175/1520-0442(2003)016<1032:SASVOA>2.0.CO;2},
  abstract = {Air temperature decrease with altitude was estimated by simple linear regression for several regions around northern Italy for minimum, maximum, and mean monthly temperatures. The comparison of the gradients with previous works revealed the absence of a lapse rate seasonal pattern in most earlier studies. Such inconsistencies in other analyses were demonstrated to be largely due to insufficient climatic stations in each area, and incomplete temporal coverage. These problems were solved here by using 269 stations in northern Italy, 205 in the Tyrol area, and 166 in the Trentin?Upper Adige region, covering a wide range of elevations and based on at least 30-yr means. Yearly lapse rates ranging from ?0.54\textdegree{} to ?0.58\textdegree C (100 m)?1 were obtained. As hypothesized, a seasonal pattern in monthly gradient variations was observed, regardless of location, and with higher lapse rates during summer. Weather stations on valley bottoms were distinguished from those located on slopes, the former group being heavily influenced by a cold-air drainage process. Both differences in temperatures at sea level and lower lapse rates on valley bottoms explained minimum temperature variation with exposure, mainly due to temperature inversions. On the other hand, maximum temperature changes with topography mostly imply differences among the lapse rates themselves, attributed to a stronger sun warming of slopes. Since lapse rates may be used for monthly temperature spatial interpolation, an analysis of cross-validated interpolation errors was performed, to assess the method accuracy. The highest interpolation reliability was founded for maximum temperature, especially for summer values, and even when topographic information was not available (with an accuracy about 1\textdegree C in most cases). The degree to which topographic differences influence the lapse rate determination was also quantified. The addition of topographic information appeared to significantly increase the temperature interpolation reliability, especially for slope sites, and was required for both minimum and winter temperature reconstruction. Thus, the interpolation error of January minimum temperature in slope stations was reduced from 2.8\textdegree{} to 1.1\textdegree C by using such a technique. Finally, the lapse rate's spatial variability was shown to be a potential source of error, especially when the region exceeds a 1\textdegree{} width latitude area, whereas longitude role was shown to be less crucial.},
  journal = {Journal of Climate},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-6368421,~to-add-doi-URL,alpine-region,elevation,lapse-rate,spatio-temporal-disaggregation,temperature},
  lccn = {INRMM-MiD:c-6368421},
  number = {7}
}
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