Extreme weather conditions are a threatening meteorological occurrence that may cause severe damage and or loss of human life or disruption. The severe weather phenomena change based on latitude, topography, altitude, or atmospheric conditions. Cold and warm fronts, storms, hurricanes, and heat waves are all extreme weather conditions. Let us understand each one of them.
A weather front can be defined as a changeover zone between two unlike air masses on Earth’s surface. Each of them differs in humidity and temperature. Turbulence is experienced at a front where two air masses meet. It may cause a change in temperature, storms, or clouds. Fronts move in all directions, and their movement is governed by strong winds or high landforms that may cause a change of path. The two major types of weather fronts are:
When the cold air mass enters a comparatively hotter air mass, it causes a cold front. They cause a lot of change in the weather. They are almost twice as quick as a warm front. With the movement of a cold front in an area, the dense cool air stays under the lighter warm air. This is when the warm air rises, causing thunderstorms and cumulus. The winds tend to become breezy. You experience a sudden drop in temperature coupled with heavy rain, hail, or thunder. A blue line is used to represent a cold front in a map. The blue line also has arrowhead triangles representing the direction.
When the warm air mass enters a comparatively cooler air mass, it causes a warm front. The warm air rises, causing thunderstorms and cumulus. Warm fronts are much slower than cold fronts as the warm air cannot easily push the dense air to move forward. Once the warm front passes over a place, the clouds become less dense. If the air is still unstable, it may result in a thunderstorm. A red line with red semicircles is used to represent a warm front on a weather map. The semicircles show the direction in which it is moving.
The other common weather fronts are a stationary front caused when a warm front or cold front becomes stationary and an occluded front, where the cold air mass mixes with the cool air that is sometimes leading the warm front.
Storms And Hurricanes
A hurricane is an enormous storm formed over the ocean. Its width can be as huge as 1000km. Hurricanes consist of strong winds and heavy rains. Hurricanes get created over warm water, especially in the tropical areas, and appear to be like a huge swirling cone-like structure created by the winds. The center is known as the eye of the hurricane. It seems to be like a black dot. Hurricanes are also known as tropical cyclones. The warm ocean waters fuel up the hurricanes, and the winds start to move in a circular direction. It is also termed closed circulation. The direction is generally clockwise in the Southern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the Northern hemisphere. The winds are the strongest around the center of the hurricane. The winds classify to be a hurricane if the speed is more than 74 mph or higher. A lot of hurricanes have a wind speed of almost 111 mph and more.
Hurricanes may pose a great threat to life and property. Storms and resultant floods cause a great loss during hurricanes. Hurricanes can be coupled with strong winds, rough surf, tornados, and rip currents. The preparation to mitigate the loss must start well before the hurricane season starts. Each tropical storm is different. The hazards associated with them also differ for each location. It’s important to have appropriate knowledge about the risk associated with the area you live in. The evacuation orders issued by the authorities also depend on the severity of the hurricane in your location.
Hurricanes Cause A Lot Of Rainfall
Warm air holds a higher amount of moisture than cold air. The vapor, once cooled, rises and condenses to result in heavy rainfall. These rains may even cause floods after a storm. You must adhere to the evacuation orders and do not use the roads that are flooded.
Hurricane-related losses carry on for some time, even after the storm ends. It is important that you use electrical appliances and generators safely and do not travel to the affected areas before it is completely safe.
A heatwave is another extreme weather condition experienced when it is too hot for a long period. The areas that experience high pressures generally face heat waves in the summer season. The sunny skies grow to be hotter as the heat radiates from the surface, intensifying the high pressure. A heatwave causes the temperature to rise much more than normal in a particular place. Heatwaves can lead to a lot of health risks, particularly affecting the elderly and small children. It can cause a lot of heat-related illnesses. It can also lead to wildfires that can finish the entire grassland in the blink of a second.
To keep safe, you must stay hydrated. Drink lots of fluids or water, stay indoors, limit exposure to the sun, don’t get involved in many arduous activities, and stay in an air-cooled place to cool down. Heatwaves have become a common phenomenon. Experiencing hot days has become a common scenario all across the world. The average temperature has already risen about 1 degree Celsius, leading to a destructive impact on the lives of people, animals, and plants around the world.
It is a challenging task to forecast an extreme weather event accurately. The frequency of heatwaves, hurricanes, and floods has been increasing all over the world. Planning for severe weather conditions and taking care of the impacts is a must. The effect of the conditions depends on how well you can adapt to the climatic changes. Better infrastructure, health facilities, transportation, and awareness towards the extreme weather conditions can help survive these changes better. Communities play a vital role in adaptation and providing strength to bear such changes.