Norfork Elementary School

Microclimate Pilot Study

Warm air rises, cold air sinks.

Findings that Norfork sixth grade students developed:

1. A significant reduction in valley temperatures seems to occur on selected dates during summer months. This needs more analysis to determine when and how much water is flowing in the river to identify the effect and its response. In summer, the constant discharge of water reduces bottomland temperatures. In other seasons,the varied releases need to be studied to identify a pattern.

2. Microclimate effects seem to be the most pronounced during the hours of darkness and become almost insignificant during the daytime and late afternoon hours.

3. More data loggers are needed to determine the extent of the climate modification farther away from the river. Preliminary data suggests that effects are pronounced only at or near the water's edge, and perhaps do not extend throughout the entire floodplain.


Phase 2 Findings - Is there a relationship between the time water is released and the temperatures observed?

Yes, a relationship was found. See this link for details.


Additional Problem Statements being considered / studied / evaluated:

Is there a microclimate difference between the forest and our school playground?

What is the effect of warm water discharges from the Buffalo River and Crooked Creek on air temperature within the study area?

How can water discharge amounts be measured by instruments?

Can water temperatures be measured just like air temperatures? If so, what local effects does Lake Norfork have on our climate?