As travellers, we accept there’s very difficult conditions to be faced around the globe. We’ve all seen the terrible weather that has swept Australia; for weeks the country was blighted by floods, to then be hit from the west by a hurricane. Last year, Russia endured a surprise heat wave which lasted a month, and several US states recently declared a state of emergency after winter weather closed roads and shut businesses.
Now, whether we can blame climate change for all this is well beyond this blog post. What we can do is take a quick look and learn at five of the world’s most extreme weather patterns.
A Hurricane is a Cyclone, is a Typhoon: they are all the same, just named differently depending where they form. Hurricanes are created at sea thanks to warm water vapour rising, which is then pushed aside creating a spiralling storm. As they pass over land they bring high winds and heavy storms.
Created in a similar way, but formed over land. Hot air rises from the earth’s surface and collides with cold air, creating thunder clouds. Rain, thunder, and lightning are likely to follow and the storm begins to rotate affected by cold winds. A distinctive cone then heads down to the ground – this vortex can pull items up into the cloud leaving behind a path of destruction.
Movement between the earth’s tectonic plates creates fissures as they pass over each other; the results are seen in volcanic eruptions. Typically, eruptions are dramatic and powerful, sending enormous dust clouds and rocks high into the atmosphere. At the same time, molten larva spews from inside the earth. Despite sometimes bringing destruction on a massive scale, this process infuses the area with nitrates and helps create new life. There are around 1,500 live volcanoes, but significant and dangerous eruptions are relatively rare.
How can we have a drought when we have record levels of rainfall? It’s a common problem in developed countries that use huge amounts of domestic water, although it’s more keenly felt in communities that have the least resources. Faced with supply problems, the Chinese government has been forced to announce a billion dollars in water aid – to its own people.
Imagine an undersea earthquake. Because of the huge disruption to the seabed, waves form, often relatively small in height, but very long – sometimes hundreds of kilometres across – these approach low-lying land, often catching people living near the shore unawares – the most recent example was in the Indian Ocean, where a Tsunami hit in 2004.
All told, we think travelling is no more dangerous than staying at home. Weather patterns are part of life, and so is travelling. So for now we’ve got no state of emergency to declare, and are travelling, blogging and loving every minute!
If you’ve got a tale of being caught in terrible weather, or know which seasons are most affected by these crazy weather patterns – just let us know.
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