Continentality: Its Estimation and Physical Significance.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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An attempt has been made to quantify continentality better than exists in current indexes. Conventional indexes of continentality were examined and their deficiencies noted. Several different approaches were taken to develop alternative continentality indexes. These approaches were dividing annual temperature range by the difference between summer and winter insolation, regressing annual temperature range on latitude and isolating the residuals such that positive ones represent continental locations and negative ones indicate maritime, or less continental, locations and finding the summer and winter lag of temperature behind radiation with the cubic spline interpolation technique. All three approaches were used to examine the North American continent as a whole. In addition, the Rocky Mountain and Great Lakes-Appalachia regions were chosen for mesoscale analysis in order to determine what effect elevation and large water bodies have on lag. Isopleth analyses of the plotted values of the proposed alternative indexes were compared with conventional index patterns for North America and with each other. Each newly developed index was evaluated as an appropriate measure of continentality and a physical meteorological explanation attempted for the patterns. Author