Earth  ID: 11411

Stormy Coasts

Antarctica is a hot spot for stormy weather. The constant mixing of warm and cold air happening above ocean waters miles from its shores generates fierce storms that circle the ice-covered continent. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a storm drifting over the South Pole. Storms are restricted to the coasts due to the extreme cold and high elevation of Antarctica’s interior, which blocks storms from penetrating inland. As a result, the center of the ice sheet is a large polar desert that receives less than 0.2 inches of precipitation per year. Watch the video to see a NASA supercomputer climate model simulation that shows the movement of clouds and storm systems around Antarctica.

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Story Credits

Alex Kekesi (GST)
Ernie Wright (USRA)

Ryan Fitzgibbons (USRA)

Lead Scientist:
William Putman (NASA/GSFC)

Lead Writer:
Maria-Jose Vinas Garcia (Telophase)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Continent map courtesy of NASA/USGS/NSF/BAS
Radar image courtesy of NASA/Canadian Space Agency/Ohio State University
Satellite image courtesy of NASA/GSFC/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team/Jeff Schmaltz

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