Topography has a significant influence on weather. Temperatures and precipitation are influenced by varied terrain. Temperatures generally decrease with height, thus the higher elevation regions tend to be cooler. However, in particular weather situations the temperatures can be cooler at the lower elevations. One way this can occur is when a cold front brings shallow cold dense air into the lower elevations. This is often called cold air damming (see diagram below). The cold air resists climbing the higher terrain since gravity holds and pushes the denser cold air toward lower elevations. Another way cooler temperatures can occur at lower elevations is when overnight cooling results in a pooling of cooler air into the lower elevation valleys (see diagram below).

When air flows into higher elevations, lifting will occur on one side of the elevated terrain while sinking will occur on the other (see diagram below). The side that the lifting occurs is called the windward side. The side that sinking occurs is called the leeward side. The windward side has more precipitation than the leeward side. The elevated terrain can also act as a lifting mechanism for precipitation. Precipitation amounts over the course of a year tend to be higher near elevated regions due to the extra lifting that is generated by air flowing into the high terrain.