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What is Heat Dome Effect?

Heat Dome Effect:

Canada is reeling under a severe heat wave. The weather experts have blamed the heat dome effect for the sudden rise in temperature.

  • A heat dome occurs when the atmosphere traps hot ocean air like a lid or cap.
  • The phenomenon begins when there is a strong change (or gradient) in ocean temperatures.
  • In the process known as convection, the gradient causes more warm air, heated by the ocean surface, to rise over the ocean surface.
  • As prevailing winds move the hot air east, the northern shifts of the jet stream trap the air and move it toward land, where it sinks, resulting in heat waves.
  • A heat dome typically lasts a week.

Effects of heat domes:

  • Those living without an air conditioner see the temperatures of their homes rising to unbearably high, leading to sudden fatalities.
  • The trapping of heat can also damage crops, dry out vegetation and result in droughts.