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trade loss winds

Loss of the Trade Winds
#1
Noticias:

Forecasts state that the trade winds will disappear from our environment.

The new temperature conditions of the ocean displace the traditional Anticyclone of the Azores and the power of the African Ridge gains influence

The Weather in the Canary Islands has changed drastically in recent years, but especially very strongly in the last twelve months, and everything points to it getting worse.



In this sense, it is expected that the trade winds will be abnormally weakened in the coming months from March to May, months in which it usually plays a leading role. There are no models for summer yet, but we could have the hottest summer in history if the trade winds don't appear around us.



Global warming, together with the "robust El Niño" phenomenon that we are suffering this year, has greatly warmed the water in our oceanic environment, which has caused the areas of high pressure to move.



This means that the Azores anticyclone has lost its location and in our area it is the influence of the African ridge that continuously wins the battle. This influence further deflects the anticyclone and the trade winds have stopped pumping the traditional moisture load they bring to the islands.

According to Professor Abel López Díez, professor of Physical Geography and member of the Chair of Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilient Cities at the ULL, the change in the trade wind regime, as well as the height of the sea of clouds "will affect a vulnerable ecosystem such as the green forest", and the warming in height will make "species and summit bushes disappear" in Las Cañadas.



In the same way, "a worrying element" is that when it rains "it will do so in a more concentrated way, it is the torrential rainfall, with episodes of greater intensity and more concentrated", which will mean repeating floods such as those of March 2002 or February 2010 in Tenerife.

On islands such as Fuerteventura, the fall of the Trade Winds will cause even more dry land storms from the east. This means more days with haze and a greater influence of the Saharan Ridge in our territory.



But in addition to the marine storms, Abel López recounted the other effects of climate change such as those related to our proximity to the Sahara desert, "with increasingly frequent heat waves, more intense episodes of calima and a very important risk of forest fires that will be increasingly greater and more dangerous due to the conditions that will be more damaging".



What were the trade winds until a few years ago...



Due to their latitudinal location and the proximity of the Azores anticyclone, the islands were affected almost all year round by the trade winds. These were constant winds that blew from the polar areas of the two hemispheres (high pressures) to the equatorial areas (low pressures).



In the specific case of the Canary Islands, these winds had their origin in the area of high pressure located to the north, around the 30º parallel, corresponding to the Azores anticyclone.



In the Canary Islands, these winds had two components. On the one hand, the lower trade winds, fresh and humid, coming from the north and northeast, which act between sea level and 1,500 meters of altitude.

On the other hand, there were the upper trade winds, warm and dry, which blow above 1,500 meters, and which were the result of the general circulation of the west at height. The direction and average speed of these winds underwent regional modifications since the seven islands are an obstacle in their course, enduring local changes due to the peculiar configuration of each of the islands.

           

The trade winds varied in intensity in relation to the movement of the Azores anticyclone throughout the year. When the distance between the anticyclone and the Canary Islands is short, the intensity of the trade winds was less than when that distance is long.



In winter, the anticyclone moved to the Canary Islands, in Madeira, with the action of the trade winds being less important. This is due to the fact that the winds are loaded with less humidity as they have traveled less space in contact with the sea. On the other hand, they are more intermittent, as the Archipelago is not in the border area of the anticyclone, where there is more wind.



In summer, the anticyclone was located further away from the Canary Islands, in the Azores, so the action of the trade winds was more intense, giving rise to clouds loaded with moisture that reach the northern slopes of the archipelago.

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