I am wondering if it is possible at all to calculate the ground temperature and air temperature at 10m above ground from 2m measurements, or at least using data that a standard weather station provides.

I am aware it is an oversimplification, but I cannot seem to find any resources concerning the matter. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Edit 2017/01/11:

Thank you for your comments, so here is the reason why we are interested in this:

We have noticed that there are often large differences in air temperature between 2m and 10m height, often of 4° to 5°C. I wanted to know if anyone else was interested in this, or are there any models out there which can be used to calculate temperatures at different heights, so a comparison between modelled and real values can be made.

Why is this interesting at all?

It would be great to have a way to know if in a certain area the temperature will not go below 0°C if we have measurements of temperature, humidity and wind at 2m. But, I presume in these days of cheap temperatures sensors and Arduinos, one can always stick a sensor anywere...

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    $\begingroup$ What do you want to use the ground temperature for? Do you mean surface (skin) temperature or sub-surface? I'd say it's not going to be possible. One dataset measuring 2m temperature and three different surface temperatures, as well as six sub-soil temperatures, is at met.reading.ac.uk/weatherdata/Reading_AWS_weather_report.html . You could start comparing time series of the four to confirm for yourself that it's not possible. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ @gerrit the link you provided looks really interesting, especially the charts that link from it. Do you know if there is a resource describing the set up a little more, or research results etc? $\endgroup$
    – Puffin
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 23:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Puffin You can try met.reading.ac.uk/weatherdata and the links from there. If you live near Reading, UK you can participate in a tour of the observatory. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ Are we having any information on the nature of the substrate - from a core, or from local observation (even at regional area). Also, what is the climate characterizing the area? I think an answer would be of a better quality knowing these, if you could update your question. $\endgroup$
    – marsisalie
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 14:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Etienne Godin Oh, I was refering to air temperatures at heights above ground: 0m (on the ground), 2m and 10m. Sorry for the misunderstanding! $\endgroup$
    – D Vida
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


There is an equation for a model of vertical variation in air temperature

enter image description here

It unifies concepts from a whole range of sciences. You will need to know the sensible heat flux H from the respective surface (which can be calculated as a result of the energy balance of where you are). Further you can calculate the volumetric specific heat capacity pc(p) of air, which is approximately 1.2 kJ/(m³ K) and relate it to the shear velocity or friction velocity of your surface. This is finally related to the logarithmic measure of the term (z-d)/zH where z is the height of which you want to know the temperature and d is the zero plane displacement. zH finally is the Roughness of your surface.

This has to do with the fact, that heat transfer over surfaces usually is turbulent and not just determined by vertical convection. I recommend you to take a look at Campbell & Norman "An Introduction to Environmental Biophysics" (1998). It's a very comprehensive book and treats all the mentioned concepts.

I'm working on a basic computation of this at the moment but it still needs a little time. Once it's done, I'd be very excited to see if it actually is able to model the measured temperatures. I'll keep you updated on how it's going.


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