Istanbulites pour into streets due to Omega balmy weather
ISTANBUL-Demirören News Agency
While tens of thousands of people flocked to the shopping avenues and seashores to enjoy the December sun in Istanbul, where the thermometer touched 20 degrees Celsius on Dec. 14, meteorologists have brought explanations to the non-arrival of the winter.
“We define the high pressure obstructing low pressure as ‘the Omega effect.’ High pressure brings fine weather. It has two effects. The first one is the air pollution during nights. The second one is the blockade of the low-pressure system and obstruction of rains,” said Orhan Şen, a meteorology engineer professor from Istanbul Technical University.
“The temperature is about 5 or 6 degrees above the long-term average levels. It is expected to be the same in the upcoming weeks. The much-needed rains have not arrived. If this trend continues in January, the situation will worsen. Then, we will face a water shortage in the next year,” he added.
Under normal conditions the low-pressure systems arrive in Turkey from the Balkans during fall and winter, bringing cold and precipitation. However, the meteorological phenomenon defined by scientists as Omega Blockade – because of its figure resembling the Greek alphabet letter – prevents the low-pressure systems, forcing them to skip the Anatolian peninsula and move on towards Iran.
“We have seen temperatures well above the average since the beginning of November,” said Murat Türkeş, an academic from the Boğaziçi University Center for Climate Change and Policy Studies.
“Climate change and global warming causes a general increase in temperatures. We see this effect in both the average temperatures and record high temperatures,” he said.
While parks, avenues and seashores of Turkey’s 15-million-strong metropolis were filled with wanderers, snow depth in the Sarıkamış district of the eastern Kars province was measured as 15 centimeters.
In the meantime, hailstorms and thundery showers have damaged 35 decares of greenhouse land in the Kaş district of the Mediterranean province of Antalya.