15.05.2017 change 06.11.2017
Katarzyna Florencka
Katarzyna Florencka

Expert: Nothing extraordinary is happening in the atmosphere

Rainy weather does not mean that something extraordinary happens in the atmosphere; at this time of year we have a large variability of conditions - told PAP atmospheric physicist Prof. Szymon Malinowski, commenting on heavy rainfall that occurred in many regions of Poland in early May.

Last weekend residents of many regions of Poland had to deal with rain and storms. In Białystok, on Sunday afternoon, in two hours 54 litres of water per square meter fell in the city, and the rain continued falling until late at night. Heavy rain that occurred at the beginning of May in all of Poland was one of the causes of the elevation of rivers such as the Oder.

Prof. Szymon Malinowski from the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Warsaw explained in an interview with PAP that precipitation is the result of two air masses meeting over Poland.

"One of them is dry, the other contains a lot of water and it came to us some time ago" - said Prof. Malinowski. "In addition, it is located on a front - a boundary of two air masses with different temperatures. At the border, in turn, steam condensates easily" - he explained.

The humid air over Poland has been brought by a very long belt of air that reached low latitudes over the Atlantic. In the meteorological slang it is referred to as an "atmospheric river". Its strength has the greatest impact on the Polish weather in May. "At the moment it is moderately strong" - said Prof. Malinowski.

The physicist emphasised, however, that the current weather does not mean that there is something extraordinary happening in the atmosphere. "At this time of year we have a large variability of conditions, but they do not go beyond what one would expect" - he noted.

"In addition to the impact of air from the Atlantic, the second condition, not very obvious but very important in our latitude, is how much ice is in the Arctic at present, and whether there is air coming from there" - said Prof. Malinowski. He added that although the ice range was greatest in mid-April, there is still quite a lot of it and it is a source of cold air. "So when people talk about "cold gardeners", they often mean air inflows that start over the Arctic Ocean and the areas covered with ice" - he said.

PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland, Katarzyna Florencka

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