The storm’s direction is a matter of much interest to many people. We know that storms travel from West to East, but what about the vertical direction of storms? If you are curious whether storms can travel south, keep reading.
Storms are known to move from West to East and, on some rare occasions, from East to West, but there is no substantial information about the movement of the storms from north to South.
For more information on weather and storm systems, delve into the article further.
General Movement Of Storms
Storms, and most other weather systems, follow the Coriolis Effect. The Coriolis Effect explains how the movement of the Earth around its axis affects weather systems. Storms typically move from the East to the West in the Northern Hemisphere under low-pressure areas.
The movement of a cloud from North to South is a phenomenon that has not been seen yet and needs further exploration.
How Is The Direction Of A Storm Assessed?
Teams of meteorologists sit together to figure out how storms form and move. In regions that are prone to the occurrence of storms, keeping an eye on changes in the weather system is crucial. Below we have discussed some methods meteorologists use to track storms, measure their intensity, and learn about their behaviors, including direction and movement.
- Radars – Radars mostly work in a smaller area and zone but can provide accurate readings based on particles and minute atmospheric changes.
- Anemometer – This device is specialized to measure the direction of winds and their strength. The direction of winds often determines the direction of the storms that occur later on. Anemometer readings provide insight into the storm’s behavior and help in the planning process.
- Satellites – Satellites are the most advanced form of technology for observing storms. Satellite imagery can warn about the formation and movement of weather systems a long time before they appear on radars.
Most of the information received through satellite visuals is accurate and precise. It plays a huge role in the mitigation process by government officials.
The Polar Vortex
The polar vortex is an interesting phenomenon that is found on the two poles of the Earth and plays a huge role in the formation of weather systems, especially storms. It is integral to the climate on the planet, and any minor changes here can cause significant changes in weather systems across the globe.
During winter, the polar vortex keeps cold air confined around the North and South poles. This is due to the jet stream, a fast-moving air current that circles the Earth, acting as a barrier that prevents the cold air from spreading into the lower latitudes.
However, cold air can escape and move southward when the polar vortex weakens or changes shape. This can cause severe weather, such as cold snaps, snowstorms, and blizzards.
This can happen when there are sudden stratospheric warming events, which occur when temperatures in the layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere, called the stratosphere, rapidly increase due to the absorption of heat from the sun.
Some instances of the jet stream moving into Northern parts of America have been observed, leading to severe cold and blizzards due to the Arctic air it brought. Moreover, some parts of Europe and Asia also experience cold spells due to changes in the strength of the polar vortex.
The main threat that is posed to humans by the polar vortex is its extreme expansion of it. If the polar vortex expands more than it has in the past, extreme cold conditions may be observed in most parts of the world. Scientists are concerned that the temperatures might be too low to sustain human life.
Do Other Planets Experience Storms?
Storms are common on Earth, but what about all the other seven planets? We are as intrigued as you are by how weather systems work on other planets.
The two planets that are notorious for experiencing storms are Jupiter and Saturn. Their storm systems are complex and have been studied for years.
The Great Red Spot is widely known for its activity on Jupiter. This massive storm has been going on for 400 years; in the Southern Hemisphere of Jupiter. The size of the storm is known to be bigger than the size of the Earth, and its movement is in a counterclockwise motion.
The storm is believed to be red and pinkish but takes on a gray cast due to the white clouds overhead.
Unlike Jupiter, Saturn experiences storms over intervals. Over twenty to thirty Earth years, Saturn experiences one mega storm. The last storm to be observed was in 2010 and took on a hexagonal shape on the planet’s North Pole. Scientists have observed that all the storms that have been seen on Saturn have always been in the Northern Hemisphere. The phenomena which prevent storms from forming in the South are unknown and are waiting to be explored.
What Is A Haboob?
A Haboob is a dust storm that is a lot more intense. These are mostly found in plains with an arid climate, such as the Arabian Peninsula, the Sahara desert, and some parts of the United States.
It may surprise you, but Haboobs occur due to thunderstorms. The downdraft winds that thunderstorms are accompanied by carry huge amounts of dust together and form a cloud that rolls across the landscape.
These are extremely dangerous for humans and animals and can sometimes be fatal. For humans and animals, they cause long-term diseases of the respiratory system and the eyes. Moreover, due to the strength of the wind, these can cause damage to property and vegetation.
Visibility is completely hampered in a haboob, leading to fatal accidents.
The variations in weather systems are astounding but a subject of such interest. In this article, we also explored other planets’ weather systems. However, no probes have been sent to Jupiter or Saturn to get accurate information about the systems, but there are plans to do so.