What is a Heat Dome? Why is it Causing Extreme Temperatures?

In this, you are going to learn what is a heat dome,? And why is it causing extreme temperatures in Canada and the united states?

Extreme heat domes are hotter and more intense than a typical heat wave. What causes these hot, concentrated weather systems?

What is a Heat Dome?

What is a Heat Dome? Why is it Causing Extreme Temperatures
What is a Heat Dome? Why is it Causing Extreme Temperatures

When you look at the words heat dome, a dome is around the roof of a building or structure, or you can also call it a semi-spherical structure.

So, What is a Heat Dome? a heat dome means the heat of the environment is trapped within the atmospheric layer. As if there is a dome blocking or trapping the heat close to the earth’s surface. Because of that, the heat is being radiated back to the earth. In this case, the heat dome is formed over North America. Cause there has been a sudden rise in the temperature of this region.

A heat dome is a warm, extended flat area of high pressure that develops during the hot season. The difference in temperature makes sense — the surface of the dome can reach temperatures in the 80s during the day and drop below freezing later at night. A good way to know whether the weather conditions are comparable to a heat dome is to look for these soaring temperatures.

Now the question is, how did heat get trapped? Well, several factors have to come together for this phenomenon to occur.


First, of course, you need a high temperature. As you all know 21st of June was the summer solstice.

What happens during the summer solstice?

That day the northern hemisphere will have the most amount of sunlight. We also call it the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

As we all know, the northern hemisphere experiences summer during June, July, and August because it is tilted towards the sun and receives the most direct sunlight.

After the summer solstice, the days start getting shorter.

In other words, the northern hemisphere slowly starts tilting away from the sun.

Around October, November, and December, the northern hemisphere reaches its winter season by the end of the year.

The southern hemisphere of the earth witnesses the summer season. That is why you must have heard that during Christmas, Australia witnesses the summer season.

Anyhow, I hope you have now understood why the northern hemisphere is so warm during June and July month. On the western side of North America, you will find the pacific ocean.

Imagine this pacific ocean as a large swimming pool that is being heated. As the temperature rises, the area surrounding the pacific ocean will also warm up. As we all know, the land heats and cools more quickly than water, which creates a tremendous temperature gradient change of temperature causes pressure differences.

Because we know that winds move from high pressure to low-pressure regions.

The next thing that we have to understand is that when air heats up, it tends to rise. Because anything that gets heated up expands, and when it is cooled, it contracts.

heat dome
What is a Heat Dome? Northern Hemisphere

Similarly, when air molecules are warm, they expand.

In other words, there is more space between the air molecules, and that is what makes the warm air floats upward. This process is also known as convection.

So the warm air of the pacific ocean moves towards the central and eastern pacific sides, which are comparatively more remarkable, and that is what becomes the prevailing westerly winds.

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Now, as we go more and more towards the polar region, the temperature drops, it gets cold, and you must also understand that cold air is also moving from the poles towards the warmer area.

Since cold air is dense and heavy, it usually flows nearer to the ground. We also call it polar easterlies. But then, the entire polar region is challenging. So air is cold everywhere, both at the surface as well as in the upper atmosphere.

When warm air approached, the cold air was coming from the north since the cold air was dense and heavy. It pushes the warm air upward. This region is usually called a low-pressure region. The rising warm air then comes in contact with the east-flowing jet stream. And by the way, jet streams are cold air moving in the upper atmosphere.

Now when this warm air comes in contact with the jet stream, it splits, one goes east, and the other goes west. Another belt of cold, dry air comes from the poles, which descend from the upper atmosphere and fill up the middle region of the hard surface air and warm rising air. This traps the warm air and moves it towards the land, where it sinks, resulting in a heatwave.

That means this cold, dry air coming from the north pole and the eastern flowing jet stream acts like a dome, blocking the warm air and pushing it towards the land.

From rare heat domes in California to the sweltering summer of 2018, it’s no secret that it’s been a hot one. Summer has shown us a new meaning of hot, and it couldn’t be more relevant. You can read more about the extreme temparatures here.

What caused the heat dome in 2021?

According to the National Ocean Service, a heat dome is caused by a significant shift in ocean temperatures from west to east in the tropical Pacific Ocean during the previous winter. As it reaches land, warm air from the western Pacific Ocean becomes stuck in the jet stream.

Can a heat dome from anywhere?

Heat domes can form “everywhere in high-latitude areas, including New England and southeastern Canada, Europe, Siberia, and Australia,” according to Adkins. The air beneath a heat dome can become fairly stagnant, causing air quality concerns, particularly when heat-fueled flames rage throughout a region.

Heating up: the recent rise in global temperatures has caused a new kind of weather phenomenon. The “heat dome” is causing extreme temperature extremes from the Arctic to Australia and around the globe. It’s also cooling down the climate, but at a high cost.

I hope you got knowledge about What is a Heat Dome? Why is it Causing Extreme Temperatures? and also the cause of heat dome. Thanks

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