Antarctica isn’t just a weird and mysterious icy continent… And in 2020, the continent is currently recording some of the strangest and weirdest weather anomalies ever observed.
For example, noctilucent clouds (NLCs) are completely missing. According to atmospheric scientists, the clouds normally appear around Nov. 21st.
And this year, the night shining clouds might not appear until mid-December. Very unusual!
- The Antarctic ozone hole is open, and the biggest it’s ever been in December.
- An icy polar vortex results in record-breaking cold air above Antarctica.
- East-west winds at 60 degrees South are blowing at record speed in the stratosphere.
So why are Noctilucent Clouds so late in 2020? Scientists believe it is linked to La Nina phenomenon that has strengthened in October and which affects large-scale circulation in the atmosphere.
What are noctilucent clouds?
NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. The eerie electric-blue structures form at the edge of space when water crystallizes around meteor dust 83 km above Earth’s surface.
Noctilucent clouds are typically visible from November to February in the south, and May to August in the north, but their appearance over Antarctica in 2020 is now seriously overdue.
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