A massive cold spur hit Europe and here’s why
We’ve all shivered and made snowmen this past days. And when I say ‘we’ I mean mainland Europe. Malta was only hit by some cold winds for a couple of days. Sad thing is that I had to go to work unlike most Europeans.
Anyhow, why did sudden Siberian cold hit mainland Europe?
To answer this, one has to look at the arctic region (north pole) specifically between 10km and 60km up in the atmosphere or what it is known as the stratosphere.
Due to the inclination of the earth (the same reason why we have seasons), the northern pole doesn’t receive sunlight and the temperature differences creates a vortex. This massive stratospheric storm called the stratospheric polar vortex spans as wide as the north pole itself.
Since it is so high up we don’t usually feel its effects, but there are instances where this vortex destabilises causing its doughnut shape to morph into two or more doughnuts.
Actually Europe’s complaining since this splitting compresses air, heating up the stratosphere violently. So violent, that it pushes the cold arctic troposphere, or basically our weather portion of the atmosphere, disrupting our usually weather patterns.
Then we end up with something like this:
If you want to know more please take a look at Simon Clark‘s video which has explained it much better than I ever could.
It’s all thanks to Simon Clark (twitter: @simonoxyphys) that I came to know of this so please do support him
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Featured photo credits: Snapwire – Pexels.