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Weather--Effect of lakes on; Temperature; Superior, Lake


To test the impact of Lake Superior on local climates, daily temperature data were collected from two weather stations in Duluth, Minnesota for the period 1961 through 1990. The broad goal of the research was to ascertain to what extent climate conditions differed between lakeside and inland locations. Temperature data were standardized to local lake-level to control for altitudinal differences between weather stations. These data were then analyzed at two temporal scales, annual and seasonal, with the focus on mean high and mean low temperatures. Results indicated that the moderating effect of the lake indeed was apparent especially in raising low temperatures, while during spring and summer the lake effect tended to depress high temperatures at adjacent locations. These findings confirm a strong presence of the lake effect at Duluth, and, since highs (daytime temperatures) were generally depressed at lakeside locations, the contention that it is colder by the lake has some legitimacy. However, it is not always "colder by the lake," as shown by the effect on mean low temperatures.

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