What is Cold Wave?
The cold wave is a meteorological phenomenon that occurs when a mass of cold air settles over an area and causes a prolonged period of lower temperatures. These cold waves can be caused by a variety of factors, including high-pressure systems, polar air masses, and Arctic outbreaks.
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Causes of Cold waves:
One of the main causes of cold waves is the movement of high-pressure systems. High-pressure systems are areas of the atmosphere where the air is sinking, which causes the air to cool and become denser. This denser, cooler air then sinks to the surface, creating a cold wave. High-pressure systems can also cause clear skies and little wind, which can lead to a rapid cooling of the surface during the night.
Another cause of cold waves is the movement of polar air masses. Polar air masses are large masses of cold, dry air that form over the poles. These air masses can move southward and bring extremely cold temperatures to areas that are not accustomed to them. Arctic outbreaks, which are the sudden and severe invasions of Arctic air into the mid-latitudes, are also caused by these polar air masses.
Coldest Year of this Century:
2023 is the coldest year of the century as it recorded the lowest temperature in the past 100 years in the northern hemisphere, primarily caused by the Arctic Oscillation (AO) which shifted to its negative phase. The Arctic Oscillation is a climate pattern that oscillates between positive and negative phases. During the negative phase, the polar vortex, which is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the North Pole, becomes more unstable. This causes cold air to spill out of the Arctic and into the mid-latitudes, resulting in cold waves and Arctic outbreaks.
Precautions Against Cold Wave:
During a cold wave, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself from the cold. This includes dressing in warm layers, staying indoors as much as possible, and staying dry. It’s also important to check on elderly family members, friends, and neighbours to ensure that they are staying warm and safe.
In conclusion, Cold waves are meteorological phenomena that are caused by a variety of factors, including high-pressure systems, polar air masses, and Arctic outbreaks. 2023 is the coldest year of the century, mainly due to the Arctic Oscillation which shifted to its negative phase, causing the polar vortex to become more unstable and cold air to spill out of the Arctic and into the mid-latitudes resulting in cold waves and Arctic outbreaks. It is important to take precautions to protect yourself from the cold during a cold wave and check on elderly family members, friends, and neighbours to ensure that they are staying warm and safe.