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10-05-2012, 01:02 PM
dun worry he's cool
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: South of the Border
Country: United States
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Originally Posted by HobeyBroten View Post
And its NEVER warmer closer to the lake. Many people in Duluth, MN don't have A/C in their house because of the lake effect. Chicago is not a tropical climate.
In the summer it's cooler by the lake as water has a much higher specific heat than other substances such as air. This means that the lake (which also has a very high volume) takes significantly longer to heat up and effectively soaks up a lot of the nearby area's heat. That's why people in Duluth are so upset in the summer by the words "east wind." A wind across the lake carries the cold air from over the lake out to land.

However, in the winter, the reverse is true. Since the lake has spent all summer absorbing this thermal energy, and the specific heat of this water is so much higher than the surrounding air, it takes far longer to cool off. While the air temperature can easily shift 20-30 degrees over 24 hours, the lake won't move even a full degree over that time period. This leads to an effect where the air around the lake absorbs that heat, leading to a "warmer by the lake" feature. This is why while in the summer the temperature at Sky Harbor International (the airport on Park Point) will often be 10 degrees cooler than the temperature at Duluth International (the airport on top of the hill), in the winter the reverse is true.

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