Climate Change

What is a heat dome? An atmospheric scientist explains the weather phenomenon baking California and the West

Heat domes trap stagnant, hot air over areas, often for days or weeks.

Heat domes trap stagnant, hot air over areas, often for days or weeks. Image: Unsplash/USGS

William Gallus
Professor of Atmospheric Science, Iowa State University
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A diagram of a heat dome above the USA.
Heat domes involve high-pressure areas that trap and heat up the air below. Image: NOAA
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December 5, 2023

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