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Elevation

Flat, low-elevation PrairiesWhen a moist air mass climbs in elevation, the air in the system expands, cools, and the ability to hold water vapour is reduced. The moisture is then released in the form of precipitation. Therefore, areas of high elevation receive more precipitation than areas of lower elevation. Cold air tends to flow into places at low elevations. high-elevation Mountains Therefore, areas close to coulees, river valleys, and lakebeds will be cooler than surrounding areas, particularly during cold weather and at night. Areas distinctly higher than their surroundings may remain above cold weather systems that blow over the lower areas. However, in times of mild weather, the places of high elevation will be significantly cooler than lower locations.

Generally, areas of high elevations receive more precipitation and have milder winter temperatures and cooler summer temperatures than areas at lower elevations.

Reprinted from Alberta Natural Regions Poster Series Manual with the permission of Alberta Community Development, Parks and Protected Areas.

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