Altitude vs. Temperature

I am looking for a decent source on the correlation between altitude and temperature in the tropics. After finding three that should have been right I have three different answers.

They all fall in the range of between one degree Celsius and one degree Fahrenheit per 100 meters of elevation change. But, that is a almost a 2:1 ratio.

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Add this to the list, it's

Add this to the list, it's not for the tropics but takes into consideration the density of the air.

moist adiabatic lapse rates

I just read part of your article Pete.

"The latitudinal distribution of tropospheric mean lapse rates clearly delineates two regimes in the atmosphere—a low-latitude regime where the lapse rates are essentially moist adiabatic, and a high-latitude regime where the lapse rates are essentially the critical lapse rate for baroclinic adjustment."

Do you have it in English?


Near the equator, it's more humid so the temperature changes with alititude at a different rate than where the air is drier.

comfortable climate

so, taking all said and reference guides. Where in Nicaragua do you find the best climate? Hot..not at night with little humidity. Or, am I dreaming?

Depends on your definitions

In the north it is not particularly humid. If you are talking cities, Somoto, Estelí, Matagalpa and Jinotega are places to check out. Matagalpa is the hottest, Jinotega is the coolest.

On the other hand, if you are talking rural, get your altimeter and start traveling around. Much of north central Nicaragua will be a candidate. There are even options where it is cool but not far from a city--Tixey, a bit south of Estelí--will get you up to about 1600 meters.

climate comfort zones

Thanks, that helps me target an area.

Temperature Variation With Altitude and Latitude

The variation in temperature with altitude is called the temperature lapse rate and is usually expressed in degrees per thousand feet. If observations taken day after day at thousands of locations around the world were averaged, the average temperature lapse rate would be about 2°C or 3 1/2°F per thousand feet.

Lots of things can affect the temperature at a particular elevation and latitude, e.g. it can depend on how far you are from the equator, how humid the air is, the wind, clouds.

Global anomalies:


Its'probably right Fyl, Mexico City that is slightly below the tropic of Cancer with an altitud of Aprox. 2400 meter, reaches 0 Deg. C. in winter, as for Nicaragua:

"It is estimated that in Nicaragua the temperature decreases 1 Deg C. per 140 meters of altitud, so when in the Pacific Coast the temperature reaches an uncomfortable 33 Deg. C., in the higher mountains is a pleasant 20 deg C. (aprox)"

Rough Translation.

Source: Geografia Dinamica de Nicaragua (Text Book)

Author: Jaime Incer

Issue: Year 2000


AC 00-6A

The standard atmospheric lapse rate is 2 deg. C per thousand feet, but that's applicable to calculating aircraft performance in flight, not condidions at ground level, which vary wildly with local conditions.

More than you'll ever want to know, that probably won't quite answer your question: