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Tornado outbreak

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  • Mike Doran
    Apr 4 10:26 AM Expand Messages
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      What meteorologists will say causes a tornado will not well focus on
      what really causes them. They will say that the phenomenon is simple
      heating and humidity caused by warm Gulf water. They will say that
      when the warm, moist air rises in reaction to this wall of cool air
      it naturally swirls and funnels. These air funnels have to reach the
      base point of resistance according to the laws of physics. The base
      point is the ground. Because the action is mostly happening above,
      this tail-end of the swirling air reaches down through thick air in a
      tight funnel - even though the main rotation is much wider and much
      higher. Because this "grounding" part of the formation is tight it
      spins at wicked speed. Hence a tornado.

      I do not disagree with that localized physics description. However,
      let's see if we can frame the paradox. The problem with this theory
      is you would expect that in order to have an outbreak such as we did
      that the Gulf of Mexico would have extreme warm anomalies to bring
      the warm, moist air to the event. But, indeed, the Gulf of Mexico had
      cooled from rain flowing down the Mississippi and from a cold front
      that had dropped south over the Gulf:

      http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/dataphod1/work/HHP/NEW/gosst.gif

      This is a very very cool picture of how rapidly the GOM cooled. You
      CANNOT explain those tornadoes, those deaths, on a warm GOM. Sorry--
      it won't work.

      If you put you hand over a burner--only two feet above it--you will
      not get burned. That warm moist air does not well translate very far.
      Something else explains the movement of cloud changes from such a
      distance so quickly.

      The ONLY thing that reasonably explains the forcing involved is that
      the GOM was relatively SALINE (even as it had cooled) from
      evaporation from previously being warm anomaly. And therefore it was
      more CONDUCTIVE. The disturbance was from the Pacific anyway. I know.
      It rained on me here first.

      Let me also say this. If you watch a movie like Twister and also
      examine the cult of tornado chasers they are looking for the wind
      event itself, to be close to it to study what makes it tick. What I
      am saying is what makes them happen or not occurs by feedback from
      the thunderstorms, causing couplings in the tropics that THEN sends
      relatively warm moist air that, because of the capacitive coupling
      over the GOM, cannot convect. But as it crosses over the land and
      comes north, draw with the front, eventually the warm moist air is
      protected by both the land and the water itself, with its dielectric
      value, and so it can start to interact with the cold, frontal air and
      convect. It convects with more intensity BECAUSE it comes with higher
      relative humidities FROM CAPACITIVE COUPLINGS OPERATING ON
      MICROPHYSICS.

      Frankly, this was a storm that first organized in the Pacific
      relative to strikes from a catagory 5 storm in OZ. It's complex, but
      one thing is for SURE--it's about large scale microphyscis changes
      and lightning strikes. I have the picture of the strike event in its
      early stages above here at the group.

      Then it was only a 22 k event but it went as high as 26 k.

      The highest strike totals seen are in the 60k range, but this is more
      than enough strikes this time of year to cause a substantial
      capacitive coupling in the GOM, because the rest of the oceans around
      the Gulf are so cold that they are not conductive and the only
      conductive pathway of least resistance is the GOM. Remember for each
      degF increase of SSTs there is a corresponding drop in resistance of
      one percent.

      But, again, the key here was salinities. More saline, more
      conductive, for a given SST.