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The air temperature is 5 degrees. The water temperature is not. Same reason a bowl of soup or cup of coffee stays hotter than room temperature for some time before it cools down to room temperature. Take that bowl or cup and expand it to the size of a lake.


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Temperature swings opposite from those expected by the diurnal radiation pattern (warming during the day, cooling at night) are typically due to air coming in from other locations. Synoptic (large-scale) fronts can bring such rapid shifts, but often tend to be more sharp (rather than gradual) and in one direction (as the front passes). However occasionally ...


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Measuring stations are used, but to fill in the gaps that are inherently there. Satellite observations of surface level temperatures are used to smooth out the data (and gather information about the oceans) to create a full look at the global temperature. Then the observed temperatures are compared to averages from recorded history and hot and cold spots are ...


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