Weather: What do you call “a cold drop”?
Temperatures are dropping in France this week. Unstable weather, the cold drop phenomenon is making a comeback.
There could be frost in south-west France. This week between Tuesday and Thursday, coolness in France will peak with low temperatures close to zero. These temperatures in mid-May, which were unusual for a week, could be accompanied by gusts, showers and sometimes even severe thunderstorms. This meteorological instability can be explained by the cold drop phenomenon.
According to the Météo-France definition, a “cold droplet” is “a very cold air bubble at an altitude of more than 5000 m”. In the latter, temperatures vary between -20 and -36 degrees. Clouds are attracted to this blocking air mass, enveloping it and floating a little. In fact, it is this encounter between the cold droplet and the warmer currents that causes these disturbances. Daniel Vendramini, head of Météo France’s forecast service in Rennes, explains in the Telegram: “The slightest heat can humidify, condense and create clouds.”
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Nevertheless, this weather phenomenon, which is difficult to predict, occurs relatively frequently, as does another phenomenon that is becoming increasingly rare: the heat dome.
A phenomenon that reverberates
Just like the “cold drop”, the dome is due to an air mass blockage, but this time hot. It is compressed by an area of high pressure called the anticyclone, which is stagnating. This area of high pressure also promotes the descent of air, which, under the effect of compression, warms the atmosphere.
In 2021, a heat dome of rare intensity had a high impact in Canada. In some regions, the mercury temperature had reached the 50 degree mark, resulting in several hundred deaths.