|Shown above is the 100 to 130 pm temperatures at the top, and winds at the bottom across Bismarck. Notice that the airport is only 24 degrees, while sensors located across the northern portions of town are in the lower 30s, why is that? Well the answer is simple. The background of each of the maps above depicts the topography, or elevation, of the area. The airport is located at a lower elevation in a valley on the southern edge of town, denoted by the relatively smooth appearance of topographic map in this area. Whereas, the topographic map on the northern edge of town is rough, depicting hills and higher terrain. Since the airport is in a valley on the southern edge of town, cold air, which sinks, tends to settle in the valley by the airport compared to the northern edge of town. This pool of cold air near the airport prevents winds from picking up in the afternoon and mixing warm air just off the ground to the surface to help warm temperatures. The northern portions of town at a higher elevation see winds increase much easier as they are not stuck in the cold air, and as a result, warm faster compared to the lower portions of Bismarck near the airport. Note the wind map, with winds of 4 to 6 mph across the northern potions of town, with a calm wind at the airport. Even this slight amount of wind can help temperatures to warm significantly in winter.