Climate Monitoring

 

 

 

Each PRIMENet site records basic meteorological data, including wind speed and direction, air and soil temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, and precipitation amount. These data are used to interpret air quality and UV measurements and also to determine long-term trends in climate. Variations in climate are likely to affect the way that natural ecosystems respond to air-pollution stress. For example, vegetation response to ground-level ozone is determined by the availability of soil moisture.

Summary of Meteorological Data for 1997.

  

Park

Scalar Wind Speed

m/s

mean std dev

Ambient Temperature

C

Relative Humidity

%

mean std dev

Precipitation

mm

mean std dev

Solar Radiation

watts/m2**

mean std dev

mean std dev

Maximum

Minimum

Acadia

4.2 2.3

6.7 10.0

31.2

-23.3

75 19

1150.8*

N/A

Big Bend

3.5 1.6

18.9 8.8

38.4

-8.0

52 20

235.5 2.3

497 333

Canyonlands

2.7 1.4

11.4 10.4

33.8

-9.7

48 21

240.2 1.4

400 294

Denali

1.4 0.8

-1.3 12.9

26.4

-37.2

70 20

282.4 1.0

210 206

Everglades

2.0 1.2

23.3 5.0

33.4

-2.3

82 15

2056.6 7.4

381 257

Glacier

1.1 0.8

5.1 9.8

34.5

-29.1

78 19

711.2 1.0

278 241

Great Smoky Mtns.

2.4 1.3

12.4 8.6

30.4

-17.9

74 20

1288 2.5

359 280

Hawaii Volcanoes

3.5 1.7

15.7 2.5

24.5

7.6

N/A

2549.9 2.3

401 289

Olympic

1.1 0.5

9.3 5.0

28.0

-6.2

84 11

746.8 1.0

303 245

Rocky Mountain

3.2 1.3

3.4 9.4

24.3

-30.0

59 26

363.5 1.5

367 268

Sequoia/Kings Canyon

1.6 0.7

9.2

29.9

-11.6

59 22

845.3 2.5

350 299

Shenandoah

2.7 1.3

7.7 8.7

27.1

-21.7

72 21

639.6 1.5

351 278

*Precipitation amount recorded by Belfort rain gauge at the NADP/NTN site. All other measurements made by tipping buckets gauges.

**Daytime average flux.

 

The previous table summarizes 1997 meteorological data for twelve of the PRIMENet parks. Meteorological stations were installed at Theodore Roosevelt and Virgin Islands NPs in 1997. The windiest sites are Acadia, Big Bend, Hawaii Volcanoes, and Rocky Mountain NPs. Everglades NP had the highest mean temperature, while Denali NP had the lowest. Hawaii Volcanoes and Everglades NPs received over 2000 mm of annual precipitation. Big Bend NP received less than 300 mm. The maximum solar radiation was also recorded at Big Bend NP, while the lowest values were recorded at Denali NP. In future reports, climate trends will be presented for parks with long-term data sets.

 

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