The influence of Nuclear Explosions on the Weather Pattern of Europe and Northern Asia





There were powerful series of atmospheric nuclear explosions in the Novaya Zemlya region of the Arctic autumn and early winter of 1961; and much more powerful series in the same region during the same seasons in 1962. These have been the most powerful so far.


During the above seasons it is noticed that the pressure and circulation pattern of the troposphere and lower stratosphere in Europe and Northern Asia displayed some abnormal features for the time of year during and immediately after each series of nuclear explosions the sea level westerly  circulation was weak with low cyclonic activity; but the high level ,westerly circulation was strong with strong cyclonic activity at high levels and intense anticyclonic activity with blocking at sea level and higher levels, often for long periods. This abnormal atmospheric pattern faded between series of explosions, particularly if there was a long interval between the series.


A consequence of this atmospheric pattern has been the development of an extensive  cold polar cell over Northern Eurasia by mid-winter of each year. The very cold northerly and easterly winds emitted by this polar cell opposed the warm sea level westerly circulation and prevented the invasion of temperate latitudes by warm fronts. As a consequence the winters were very cold, and the 1962-63 winter was one of the coldest on record.


With the aid of aerologioal charts and available information regarding atmospheric nuclear explosions and their influence on the atmosphere. it has been shown that the series of nuclear explosious played a major role in the evolution of the abnormal atmospheric pattern.




How to Cite

G. WICKRAMASINGHE, “The influence of Nuclear Explosions on the Weather Pattern of Europe and Northern Asia”, MAUSAM, vol. 20, no. 4, Oct. 1969.



Research Papers