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.