A climate data set is presented for four sites spanning the elevation gradient in the Great Smoky Mountains from Gatlinburg to Clingmans Dome. Monthly mean values for cloud cover, temperature, humidity, precipitation, and soil moisture are included. Stephens (1969) is the source of all summarized mean monthly data. Values are the averages of four years (1947-1950) with moderate to high precipitation. Graphical displays show strong climatic patterns of variation among seasons and elevations. The upper stations had lower temperatures and higher precipitation totals; however, temperature lapse rates and variation in vapor pressure deficits decreased at upper elevations. To examine how well the four-year sample represents the long-term climate, temperature and precipitation for the Gatlinburg (1460 ft elevation at park headquarters) station were compared between the years in the sample and the years in the full record from 1928 to 2003. Trends related to season and elevation are consistent with earlier studies and provide a basis for interpretation of climate dynamics in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
The 1947-1950 data
Comparison of the sample to the long-term record
Sources of the long-term data summaries
Results and discussion
The short-term sample vs. the long-term record
Climatic patterns 1947 - 1950
Vapor pressure deficit
Potential applications and limitations
Use of the database
Summary of major climatic patterns
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