The “anti-cyclonic potato” is coming to France: what is it?

An “anticyclonic potato” refers to an amount of high-pressure air. This meteorological phenomenon will arrive in France. But why name it when we are talking about potatoes?

More than a month after Storm Ciaran hit France, a new meteorological phenomenon has been announced. Meteorologists speak of an “anti-cyclonic potato” to describe the weather conditions at the end of the week of December 11, 2023. What does this mean? Should you prepare for unusual weather?

Very likely arrival of high pressure potatoes by the end of next week. Although this huge pocket of high pressure is expected to persist in the short term under current scenarios, the modeled pressures remain very high. “, suggested Guillaume Jauseau, a forecaster for Météo-Contact, to his X account on December 9. Stéven Tual, meteorologist at Météo Concept, he added December 13 to your own X account: “ Anti-cyclonic conditions will return from Friday. They will prevail until at least Tuesday the 19th. (…) We are talking about anti-cyclonic potatoes. »

“anti-cyclonic potato”. // Source: Via X @StevenTual_off

What is an anticyclonic potato?

The expression existsconfirms Numerama Loïs Pourchet, forecaster of Météo-France. We talk about an anticyclonic potato when we have an air mass that tends to move vertically down. They are pressure highs, unlike the pressure lows we have in the case of a storm that arrives in France and settles in the country for the next few days.. »

The word “potato” is associated with the shape these anticyclonic conditions take when shown on a map, the specialist continues: ” We are looking at equal pressure curves, and these curves tend to be potato-shaped. » The term also quite well describes the feeling of heaviness associated with the phenomenon. ” We tend to have movementsassociated with these anticyclonic conditions, which trap moisture near the floor. »

Drier and colder weather is coming to France

In fact, Météo-France reports in its December 13 publication that “ weather conditions will change at the end of the week, with the arrival of drier and cooler weather “. At present it is an atmospheric river (a narrow band of moisture) which brings significant rains to France, which is diminishing.” As of Friday, a high-pressure area is forming over the land: the rain stops in the whole country and the sky is variably cloudy. This calmer weather will continue into the middle of next week », Details Météo-France.

The French Meteorological Service specifies that the presence of this new high does not necessarily mean more pleasant and sunny weather: ” the situation is favorable for the development of low clouds, gray and fog “.

None of this is unusual or alarming. ” We had anti-cyclonic conditions for quite some time last winter, so this is nothing out of the ordinary. », Loïs Pourchet reminds Numeram. coming days,” the center of the high pressure will gradually move towards western Europe so the weather will be more gloomy with very little disturbance “.


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