SEVERE WEATHER 101: The Ring of Fire

It’s a term often associated with volcanoes along the Pacific Rim.  But it also defines a weather phenomena.  It’s called the Ring of Fire and it’s something we have to watch out for as temperatures across the U.S. really start to warm up.

Here’s an example of how it works.  A ridge of high pressure sets up shop over a portion of the United States.  In this example, we’ll say southeast of Iowa.  This large ridge producing very hot conditions over a large area of the country.  While much of the nation broils under this high pressure, the outer rim of the ridge is where cooler air interacts with this hot air mass.

This produces strong to severe thunderstorms.  But with the ridge of high pressure, these storms develop and track along the our rim, or ring, of the high pressure area.  This is something more commonly seen in the dog days of summer, but with the right conditions can happen any time of the year.

 

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