Cold Air Pockets on Lake
Location: Outside U.S.
Date: Summer 2012
We were out fishing on Lake Roosevelt on a 90 + hot day and every once in awhile we cold hit with a blast of cold air maybe 10 degrees colder, what causes that?
That has happened to me also. Local effects of shaded cool areas or even cool swells in the water occur normally. Those create a local air turbulence, a cool breeze at the surface and can carry quite a distance over a flat surface. They last for very brief periods of time before dissipating. But gosh! Do they feel good!
Hoping the fish were biting, Peter E. Hughes, Ph. D., Milford, NH
Could be air over a cold natural spring that is on the bottom of the lake.
It may be that cooler air was advected by wind towards you from a
location where less solar radiation was being received, such as
a wooded area at the edge of the lake.
It could also have resulted from differential heating of the lake
itself, just as happens on land. Warm air rises where heating of the
surface is occurring more rapidly than at an adjacent area; cooler
air from a greater height is displaced downward, yielding cooler air
at the surface.
David R. Cook
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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Update: November 2011