Weather: What do you call “a cold drop”?

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.

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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.