- Aug 1, 2005--- In email@example.com, "Mike Doran"
> A gentleman by the name of Jim Hughes has recently been discussingI haven't heard the name before, but I'll see what I can find out
> space weather with me. Perhaps you know of him.
> He contends that when the wind speeds drop below 500 that tropical
> storms form--over that speed they don't. I saw real time this was
> true with respect to Dennis and Emily.
> Do you have any thoughts about this?
The solar wind speed is only part of the equation. There's the solar
wind density, and the interplanetary magnetic field. The
interplanetary magnetic field is actually an extension of the sun's
magnetic field that is carried along by the solar wind. The IMF can
be either north or south-pointing. If it's south-pointing, the IMF
will essentially collide with and weaken Earth's magnetic field, and
allow the solar wind to penetrate deeped down. That has the effect of
enhancing geomagnetic activity.
So, while a high-speed solar wind will pack a harder punch into
Earth's magnetic field, that's only part of the story. I would be
interested to know how Mr. Hughes factors in the IMF, and also the
solar wind density.
I would also be curious if there is any data concerning tropical storm
formation in relation to the 11 year sunspot cycle. During the period
of time around the cycle peaks, there would be more days during which
the solar wind speed would be > 500 km/sec due to the increased
sunspot activity. If Mr. Hughes's theory is correct, it seems that it
would translate to fewer tropical storms around the solar max, and
more around the solar minimum.
It's a shame we don't have any tropical storm data from the time of
the Maunder Minimum!
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