Why is the North Pole not the coldest place in the northern hemisphere?

Everyone knows that it is cold at the North Pole – very cold. So it is reasonable to suppose that the closer you go to the pole, and the further you get from the equator, the colder it gets. Curiously, this is not entirely right. The American state of Virginia gets more snow than the lowland areas of the Arctic, even though it lies much further south. And the temperature in the northern US state of Montana has dropped several degrees below the coldest recorded at the North Pole.

It is not only how far north you go that makes a place cold. Altitude also affects temperature. The higher you are above sea level the colder it gets – and Montana is a mountainous state. The ocean plays a part too. The oceans surrounding the North Pole have several warm currents. These help to keep the temperature at the North Pole higher than it might otherwise be. However, the ocean has very little influence on the weather in the centre of a large continent – like Montana. Here the extremes of temperatures are much greater than in places closer to the ocean.


Picture Credit : Google

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