Göttingen, The Siberia of North Germany


Sunday, 1/28/2006, approximately 7pm

That afternoon I met a friend in Nikolausberg.  We were listening to the radio when at one point, the commentator listed the current temperatures in cities of North Germany.  The temperature in Göttingen was -10°C, the coldest of all the cities listed in Northern Germany.  Shortly thereafter, we went outside to look at the thermometer, which read -5,6°C.  That made us curious since it is usually colder in Nikolausberg than it is in Göttingen.  We thought that perhaps the thermometer was broken, but a second thermometer in the yard read the same number.  Or perhaps the radio commentator made a mistake in reading off the temperatures?  But to our surprise as we arrived in downtown Göttingen in front of the shopping center Carré, the display there assured us that it was really that cold: 9,7°C.

So it really was colder in Göttingen than in Nikolausberg. But Göttingen lays in a valley, and Nikolausberg is approximately 180 meters higher than Göttingen.  So, according to what we learned in geography class, the temperature in Göttingen must be a least 1,8°C warmer than Nikolausberg... but -3,8°C???

Yet in Göttingen the temperature was -9,8°C, and thus, 4,2° colder than in Nikolausberg.


A view from Nikolausberg looking Southward upon the higher part of the Lutter Valley on January 28, 2006 .  One can see the haze/misty bells over the valley, which had a maximum height of 290meters above sea level.

Here are some more  interesting photos

The next morning, as the "Weather-Frogs from the FKG Weather Club" found, at 6:35am the temperature was -15,3°C,  while at the same time the temperature was -9,8°C in Nikolausberg.

Daily weather temperatures and measurements from January 28, 2006

How do you explain that the temperature was definitely lower in Göttingen than in Nikolausberg?


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