We report on the free tropospheric spatio-temporal variability of water vapor investigated by the analysis of a five-year period of water vapor vertical soundings above Mt. Zugspitze (2962 m a.s.l., Germany). Our results are obtained from a combination of measurements of vertically integrated water vapor (IWV), recorded with a solar Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectrometer and of water vapor profiles recorded with the nearby differential absorption lidar (DIAL). The special geometrical arrangement of one zenith-viewing and one sun-pointing instrument and the temporal resolution of both optical instruments allow for an investigation of the spatiotemporal variability of IWV on a spatial scale of less than one kilometer and on a time scale of less than one hour. We investigated the short-term variability of both IWV and water vapor profiles from statistical analyses. The latter was also examined by case studies with a clear assignment to certain atmospheric processes as local convection or long-range transport. This study is described in great detail in our recent publication .