Heat Dome | Roasted Death Valley
Did Death Valley just hit the highest temperature recorded ever
WHY IN NEWS:
The Death Valley had recorded a temperature of 129°F in July 2013.The temperature on August 16 has surpassed it.
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- Which once verified, could be the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth.
- United States weather station at Furnace Creek recorded this in Nevada, at 3:41 pm local time .
- However, since the temperature-recording mechanisms was not as advanced, many have doubted if that reading was reliable.
- Similarly, a reading of 131°F or 55°C from July 1931 in Tunisia, has also been challenged.
- The high temperature recorded on August 16 is a result of a so-called ‘heat dome’ .
WHAT IS A HEAT DOME?
- Summertime means hot weather — and extreme heat waves have become more frequent in recent decades.
- Sometimes, the scorching heat is ensnared in what is called a heat dome.
- This creates vast areas of sweltering heat that gets trapped under the high-pressure “dome“.
- The main cause is a strong change (or gradient) in ocean temperatures from west to east in the tropical Pacific Ocean .
- Alternatively, these pressure differences that drive wind, across the entire ocean in winter.
- In a process known as convection, the gradient causes more warm air, heated by the ocean surface.
- This rises over the western Pacific, and decreases convection over the central and eastern Pacific.
- Thus winds move it toward land, where it sinks, resulting in heat waves.
OCEAN MEAN TEMPERATURE (OMT)
- These are important climatic parameters required for atmospheric and oceanic studies like cyclone and monsoon predictions .
The data used to estimate these parameters are :
(a) sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) from the available altimeters
(b) sea surface temperature (SST).
- The temperature recorded at Furnace Creek has been termed as ‘preliminary’ and not ‘final’.
- Some have said that if it is verified as correct, it will be a new record.
- The heat dome is likely to continue into August 17 and August 18.
- This year has already seen various extremes in temperature.
A LITTLE WHILE BACK
- The wildfires of Australia in December 2019 memories are still fresh .
- The fires have been among the deadliest, with 20 per cent of Australia’s forests burnt.
- In June, Siberia began to burn because of wildfires caused by intense heat.
SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | Heat Dome | Roasted Death Valley