Before proceeding to thoroughly analyze the term thermal amplitude and
discover its meaning, let us establish what is the etymological origin of the
two words that give it shape. In this sense, we can expose the following:
-Amplitude derives from the Latin, for “amplitudo”, which can be translated as
“the quality of being extensive”. It is a term that is made up of two different
parts: the adjective "amplus", which is synonymous with "wide" or "extensive",
and the suffix "-tud", which is used to indicate "quality".
-Thermal, on the other hand, is a word that derives from the Greek and that
means "relative to heat". It is obtained from the union of two elements: the
adjective "thermos", which is "hot", and the suffix "-ico", which is equivalent
to "relative to".
Among the many uses of the term amplitude, this time we are
interested in staying with its meaning as the difference between a
minimum value and a maximum value that can be registered numerically. According to
in this sense, refers to a range or an interval. Thermal,
meanwhile, is an adjective that refers to temperature or heat.
From these definitions we can already understand what the thermal
amplitude is. This is the difference between the minimum
temperature and the maximum temperature that is recorded in a place for
a certain time. In other words, the thermal amplitude reveals
how much the temperature varies at a site over a period.
In general, the thermal amplitude indicates how many degrees of difference
there are between the coldest moment and the warmest moment of
a day. Suppose that on April 14, 2011, in a city X,
the lowest temperature recorded was 6º C (at 7.05 am), while
the highest temperature reached 19º C (at 14.34 pm). The
temperature range of this day, in that place, was 13 ° C.
It is also common for the thermal amplitude to be measured according to the average
values for a long time. In the last decade, a country average
minimum temperature is recorded 8 ° C and an average maximum
temperature of 23 ° C. Thus it can be said that the
temperature range of the nation is 15 ° C.
It should be noted that the thermal amplitude depends on several factors
beyond the temperature, such as winds and humidity.
In the same way, it must be borne in mind that the existence of certain
elements that are close to the place where the measurement is made also
influences this thermal amplitude. We are referring specifically to the near
existence of large bodies of water, such as the sea, since it interferes with
caloric conductivity and what is also known as heat capacity.
The cloudiness, in the same way, influences the aforementioned amplitude
because it hides the sun and also does the same, for example, as are the
mountains and other systems framed within the topography.
In Spain it can be established that the places with a lower thermal amplitude
are the Canary Islands, part of Galicia as well as areas of Asturias and