This unusual August has brought a multitude of strange weather phenomena. From historical temperature records until storms in the middle of August and the disturbing news that the thaw has reached The point of no return.
Eltiempo.es reviews the most striking phenomena and explains their causes.
Deep squall in midsummer
A deep storm, baptized as Ellen, has affected north of Europe with collateral effects in Spain. This squall could have experienced a explosive cyclogenesis process, leaving a wind storm and waves of more than 6 meters, in addition to heavy rains.
This fast-paced deepening process called Explosive cyclogenesis is much more common in the winter months. The deep storm Ellen It was noticed in some areas of Spain. In addition, a front associated with the storm has left heavy rains in Galicia with wind and warnings for coastal phenomena.
Greenland: point of no return
Even if climate change were to slow down right now, the Greenland ice sheet would continue to shrink for some time. Glaciers have reached a point of no return, losing around 500 gigatons a year. Greenland’s large glaciers have retreated about 3 kilometers on average since 1985.
This loss of ice is one of the main factors affecting sea level rise, putting hundreds of coastal cities at risk, eroding beaches and altering ocean patterns.
Heat record in Death Valley
The western United States has faced a severe heat wave with high temperatures. One of them has been the measure in Death Valley (California) where the thermometer reached 54.4ºC, the highest value measured in more than 100 years. It was precisely in this same place in 1913 that the highest temperature in our records was recorded: 56,7ºC.
“The orographic and geographic characteristics of this place make it one of the hottest on the planet. The low vegetation cover and land dominance, rock or sand, causes an overheating that worsens in summer ”.
“Due to the geographical location, between four mountain ranges, the hot air subject to continuous heating is trapped by the walls of the mountains in the interior and bottom of the valley.”
“That stagnant hot air together with the daily insolation causes the temperature to rise reaching extreme values ”, has aimed Mar Gómez, head of the meteorology area of eltiempo.es and doctor in Physics.
Virulent fires and tornadoes of fire
Associated with this heat wave, fires have been protagonists in this part of the United States. California declared a state of emergency while keeping 30 fires active, one of them destroyed 17,800 hectares. The combination of high temperatures and thunderstorms have triggered these fires that have sparked even fiery tornadoes.
The fiery tornadoes arise from extreme heat close to the surface in combination with cold air. This makes the hot air, being less dense and heavy, begin to rise, and if the conditions of turbulent wind will form a vortex which will collect flammable gases and burn vegetation, creating this tornado of fire or firenado.
Dust storms in Brazil
In Brazil they lived strong sandstorms with intense winds which affected several municipalities in the state of Sao Paulo, such as Marília, Sorocaba and Palmital.
Sandstorms are not unusual in South America, although they are more common in regions like the Middle East. However, according to a study, These phenomena have increased in speed and magnitude, being a great danger to health, as dust particles can lead to serious respiratory problems.