Researchers discover a strange new kind of storm – the ‘Atmospheric Lake’

Fareeha Arshad

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Scientists have found a different weather condition on the Indian Ocean that shifts toward the African coast to bring rain to the area. What is unique about this weather is its slow movement and water-filled pools – thus its name, the ‘Atmospheric Lakes’.

As per research presented at the 2021 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, these atmospheric lakes are developed from the collection of sense water vapour. These lakes are closely similar to the atmospheric rivers with dense moisture collection but are smaller, have relatively slower movement, and are disconnected from the source to the coastal area.

According to the research analysis, more than fifteen atmospheric lakes have been observed in the previous five years alone, and each lasted for over a week. All of these ‘lakes’ were close to the equator region, though there were other regions where they were seen. However, most often, these atmospheric lakes transform into tropical cyclones.

Researchers believe that these atmospheric lakes appear different from the usual lake pattern because of the atmospheric wind pattern. According to a scientist from the University of Miami, the winds that hold these lakes possess near zero wind speed. Therefore, the surrounding environment also plays a crucial role in their formation.

In addition, scientists are theorizing whether or not these atmospheric lakes are self-driven or are affected by the wind patterns that may change with any changes in the climate. Suppose the formation and movement of these atmospheric lakes are indeed affected by climatic changes. In that case, it would, in turn, affect the areas on the African coast, especially those places that are in dire need of rainfall every year.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

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