When 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.
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.