WIND SHEAR & EL NINO (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     23rd May 2024        
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Context: During hurricane season, weather forecasters frequently discuss wind shear, emphasizing its critical role in predicting storm behavior and intensity.

Wind Shear

  • About: It refers to changes in wind speed, direction, or both over a distance.
  • Types and Impacts of Wind Shear

o In Aviation: Pilots encounter wind shear as sudden changes in wind speed or direction, causing turbulence.

o Vertical Wind Shear: Focuses on changes in wind speed and direction with height, crucial in hurricane formation and dynamics.

o Illustrations: Visual representations of wind shear effects, showcasing height and direction variations.

  • Significance in Hurricane Formation

o Tropical Storm Formation: Wind shear plays a role in the development of tropical storms from low-pressure systems over warm water.

o Symmetry in Hurricanes: Symmetrical structure aids hurricane intensification, while excessive wind shear can disrupt it.

Influence of Climate Patterns

  • El Nino Impact: During El Nino years, increased wind shear over the Atlantic affects hurricane development by disrupting tropical storm formation.
  • La Nina Contrast: La Nina, the opposite of El Nino, fosters conditions conducive to more active hurricane seasons due to reduced wind shear.
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