Five weather related things to watch for in 2022

31st December 2021 Last updated at 10:13

As the new year begins, BBC Weather looks ahead to the year to come and considers some of the weather stories we could be covering in 2022.

The Asian Monsoon

The Asian Summer Monsoon could be considered the most important weather pattern globally as so many people rely on it. The monsoon is a wind that brings life giving rains across south east Asia, breaking the stifling pre-monsoon heat where temperatures soar, sometimes close to 50C.

The rains usually start in June through to September bringing vital rains before the wind direction changes. The monsoon is sometimes referred to as the plum rains in China.

Understanding the Monsoon
La Niña

Ocean currents aren't obvious like a tornado or a hurricane but they have profound impacts on global weather cycles. La Niña, which means little girl in Spanish, is a cold water upwelling in the tropical Pacific. It is the opposite to the better-known El Niño, a Pacific warming event.

La Niña is currently underway for the second consecutive Christmas, but is expected to weaken in spring 2022.

How La Niña effects weather in the Pacific
Polar ice melt

The poles are heating faster than any other place on the planet. This warming is impacting the volume and resilience of the ice caps. In Antarctica, the massive Thwaites Glacier is accelerating towards the Southern Ocean and is likely to disintegrate in the next five to 10 years.

The RRS Sir David Attenborough with its submarine "Boaty McBoatface" will be studying the glacier, with Boaty travelling underneath, to understand how a warmer sea is undermining the glacier from below.

Thwaites: Antarctic glacier heading for dramatic change


The US and Canada saw massive wildfires in 2021, with Lytton destroyed by fire after suffering Canada's highest recorded temperature. Australia also experienced massive bushfires again in 2021. A knock-on effect of wildfires is that the scarred land means rains can cause landslides as there are fewer trees to hold the soil in place.

Wildfires give way to flooding and mudslides as heavy rain hits California
Temperature records

Temperature records were smashed in Canada, Europe and around the world in 2021. Lytton, Canada endured the county's highest recorded temperature, reaching 49.6C, while Sicily suffered at 48.8C. More greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere daily, so it seems likely that records will be broken again soon - either in 2022 or not long after.

US-Canada heatwave: Visual guide to the causes