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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published August 04 2013

Weather Talk: Temperatures can change significantly within a day

Here in the Fargo-Moorhead area, we are quite used to our afternoon temperature being 20, 30 and occasionally 40 degrees warmer than it was early in the morning.

During the day, the ground is warmed by the sun’s rays. As the ground is heated, the air is warmed by convection. When the ground cools at night, the air also cools. When the air is relatively dry, the temperature of the air around us can warm dramatically from morning to evening. This is a characteristic of our continental climate.

Over the oceans, air temperature is closely related to the temperature of the water and changes only a few degrees night to day. Coastal locations and areas in which ocean-modified air is often present have much smaller daily temperature ranges, often only around 10 degrees or even less from morning to afternoon.

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