Tech UPTechnologyCold wave. What is it? What type is there?

Cold wave. What is it? What type is there?

In winter it is already a constant: every few weeks a cold wave is announced and half the country dawns snowy. But what is really a cold snap? And is there only one type or are there more modalities? We tell you everything there is to know about it.

The cold wave is a phenomenon in which temperatures drop drastically, being extremely low with respect to the average of the time, as a consequence of the arrival of a cold air mass . To be considered a wave, the phenomenon has to last for more than a day . They can extend over hundreds or thousands of square kilometers.

Cold waves are classified into polar cold waves and Siberian cold waves, depending on where the cold air masses have formed.

Wave of polar cold

In this case, the air masses are formed between 55 and 70 degrees of altitude. They can become hot if they move to areas with warmer temperatures. If this happens, stormy-type rains can occur. However, if they move towards the Atlantic or the Pacific, the air will become soaked with humidity and when they come into contact with cold water, fogs or light precipitation will form.

Siberian cold wave

These cold air masses form in areas near the poles. They are of low temperature, stable and little humid, reason why they do not usually produce clouds. Neither heavy snowfalls, unless they move across the Atlantic, where they will destabilize.

What is considered a cold wave in Spain?

In our country it is understood that we are under the influence of a cold wave when the temperature drops a minimum of 6 degrees in 24 hours . Depending on the specific area, the following minimum temperatures are established:

  • On the coast of the peninsula, the Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, the minimum temperature must reach a threshold of 0ºC.
  • In areas whose altitude is between sea level and 200 meters, the minimum temperature must reach a threshold between 0 and -5ºC.
  • In areas whose altitude is between 200 and 800 meters, the minimum temperature must reach a threshold between -5 and -10ºC.
  • In areas whose altitude is between 800 and 1200 meters, the minimum temperature must reach a threshold lower than -10ºC.
  • No thresholds have been determined for higher areas, as they are considered unpopulated areas or with a population accustomed to intense cold.

Tips for dealing with a cold snap

  • Dress in thermal clothing . This type of clothing will protect you without having to wear many clothes.
  • Protect neck, hands and head with a scarf, mittens (they keep warm better than gloves and a hat).
  • If you are going to take the car, keep informed of the situation of the roads and have the chains at hand. Get out the essentials, better avoid going alone at night, and make sure you have enough gas in the tank.
  • At home, be very careful with stoves and braziers . Make sure they are not near curtains and that children do not approach. Braziers and wood, charcoal or gas stoves can cause poisoning if the air is not renewed. Unplug electrical appliances that are not being used, have candles, flashlights and batteries on hand in case of a blackout.

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