Does The Temperature Drop As You Increase Altitude?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - If you've ever taken a trip up into the mountains, you've likely noticed that it's cooler up there.

In the lower part of the atmosphere, known as the troposphere, the temperature generally drops at a rate of about 2.5 degrees per 1,000 feet on a cloudy, humid day to about 4 degrees per 1,000 feet on a sunny, dry day. But the rate can vary depending on atmospheric conditions.

The temperature gradually drops until you get to about 38,000 feet, where it's about 75 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. At that point, you reach the stratosphere, where the temperature goes up again until you're about 30 miles up, peaking up around 20-25 degrees above zero.

Beyond that, it takes a series of dips and spikes, until it reaches the outer edge 55 miles up, where it's over 1,000 degrees, but the air is so thin, it'd feel cold to human touch.

For More Information:

Wweather.unisys.com -- a realtime snapshot of temperature as it drops with altitude.

Diagram Of Atmospehre -- earthguide.ucsd.edu

people.whitman.edu/~jackaga/Stability.htm

Your Photos

YouNews Hurricane odile Hurricane odile
Hi, I'm a resident of issaquah wa, here with my husband in cabo San Lucas. We are 34 and 38 years old came down to vacation for the first time since the birth of our first child (3 years old). We landed in cabo on Tuesday the 16th of September.
YouNews Waiting their turn Waiting their turn
A Washington State Ferry waits its turn to dock at the Lopez Island Ferry Terminal as the sun rises over Mount Baker in the background.