Original Paper

Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 109, Issue 1, pp 1-5

First online:

Examination of diurnal temperature range at coterminous U.S. stations during Sept. 8–17, 2001

  • W. A. van WijngaardenAffiliated withPhysics Department, York University Email author 

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Abstract

The tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 resulted in suspension of commercial flights over North America. It has been suggested that the diurnal temperature range (DTR) increased due to an absence of airplane contrails. This study examined hourly data observed at 288 stations. The average DTR, temperature, maximum/minimum temperature and relative humidity were found for each day in 2001 and compared to the average value occurring during 1975–2005. For the coterminous U.S., the DTR averaged over the period Sept. 11–14, 2001 was about 1°C larger than that found for the 3 days prior and after the flight ban. However, the day-to-day DTR does not correlate well with the flight ban. Plots of the change in DTR throughout North America during Sept. 8–17 show changes consistent with the natural progression of weather systems.