Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 145–165

Empirical estimation of the monthly-mean daily temperature range

  • B. Geerts

DOI: 10.1007/s00704-002-0715-3

Cite this article as:
Geerts, B. Theor. Appl. Climatol. (2003) 74: 145. doi:10.1007/s00704-002-0715-3


¶This is a sequel to a study of the empirical estimation of the annual mean temperature and its range, at any location on land, based on the historical surface climate record. Here the spatial patterns of the daily temperature range (DTR) and its seasonal variation are examined. The DTR is highest in the subtropical deserts and is less at high latitudes, as well as within 30–150 km from an ocean. It is generally higher in winter (summer) at low (high) latitudes. The coastal DTR reduction is explained by sea breezes, onshore advection, and low-level cloud cover. Even large bodies of water, such as Lake Michigan, affect the near-shore DTR. Elevation does not directly affect the DTR, but valleys tend to have a DTR that is 2–6 K larger than adjacent hills or ridges.

The main factor affecting the DTR is the afternoon relative humidity, which is dynamically linked to low-level cloud cover. An empirical relationship between DTR and afternoon relative humidity has an uncertainty of about 1.4 K for monthly-mean values.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Geerts
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USAUS