Why Are Hill Stations Cooler Than Plains?

A lot of people love hill stations. Mainly those people living in equatorial regions, where the sun’s heat is far greater compared to areas near the poles, enjoy going on a trip to the beautiful hill stations and spend a couple of days there. The main reason behind this is that the cold climate in hill stations attracts many people living in the equatorial regions. That is why,in tropical countries, hill stations are good places to spend a vacation and escape the scorching heat of the sun. We might come to think what is the reason behind the relatively colder climate in hill stations despite the plains are scorching in the summer heat?

What is a Hill Station?

In contrast to plains, we can find hill stations in high elevated places. Unlike other hills, a hill station is a town resided by people, and it is also commonly used as a tourist destination. The term hill station is popular in some countries in Asia, mainly in India. We can trace back its origins to the early European rulers in Asia, wherein they established hill stations on elevated places on tropical countries to beat the summer heat. The reason behind the creation of the hill station is pretty evident since European rulers prefer to stay in cooler temperatures, in which hill stations are the best option. Depending on the region, hill station could rise on an altitude roughly 1,000 to 2,500 meters, which is 3,300 to 8,200 feet.

Why are Hill Stations Cooler?

Some people are quite confused about how hill stations have a much cooler temperature compared to those areas on lower levels. Many questions might arise, and most of them could rely on mere observation. It might not be evident to see that in a place where the sun’s heat is incomparable, towns or cities in low altitudes tend to suffer more from this energy released by the sun. We may come to think places on high altitude would experience a much warmer temperature since they are closer to the sun. However, throughout history, experts already proved that high altitude places tend to be cooler than those in low areas.

There are several factors that affect the distribution of climate around the globe; winds, altitude, the proximity of the sea, the rotation of the earth, and so on. Among these parameters that affect atmospheric temperature, the altitude of the place is the most important.

The relation between temperature and pressure is apparent. For starters, the first thing you should know is that the atmospheric pressure depends on the altitude of a place; the higher the altitude, means low atmospheric pressure. This variation of atmospheric pressure is due to the absence or lower amount of air in higher places. The air is a combination of various gases, including Oxygen and Nitrogen and water vapor. Since air has weight, the atmospheric pressure of a place refers to the force exerted by air particles at a particular place. However, because of the planet’s gravitational pull, the air particles are forced to stay close to the earth’s surface as possible. With this said, highly elevated places tend to have much less amount of air than the sea level. The density of air is lesser at higher altitudes, which is why people need proper equipment if they wish to travel extremely high places. Have a low-density means that the amount of gas per unit volume is less. Since temperature shows the average energy of the particles per unit volume, it would be unsurprisingly lower in high places.

Another factor for the cold temperature of hill stations is the heating process on earth. The air does no directly gets heated up by the sun; instead, the sun heats the surface of the earth. When the surface gets heated up, it continues to heat the layer of air above it gradually. During this process, the air gets enough kinetic energy, which allows it to move and rise in the air to expand – it means it has a decrease in its density. This movement of air means that while it is traveling upwards, the temperature continues to drop, which explains why higher places have cooler temperatures.