Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby MGmirkin » Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:07 pm

CharlesChandler wrote:The other issue is that reflectivity from a tornado is going to be slight anyway. The "condensation funnel" that makes up a tornado is actually extremely small droplets of water, which are poor radar reflectors. To get really good reflectivity, you need large concentrations of big raindrops.


Ehh, I wonder though... I recall reading about transparency / absorption / reflection of EM being a function of the medium's plasma frequency. Probably from the old thread on plasmonics.

I just wonder if the inner funnel (charge sheath vortex) would be sufficiently energetic to cause radio waves to be reflected? Or, rather, at what plasma frequency / energy level would radar waves change from being allowed to pass through to being reflected back? Perhaps the "echo" if it only forms when a tornado is getting ready to descend is an indicator of the plasma frequency changing in such a way as to change its transparency to opaqueness or reflectivity?

Just a passing thought. Nothing especially rigorous...

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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby CharlesChandler » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:13 pm

As an aside, is it just me or is this image a good example of the difference between an arc discharge and a corona discharge (I think, though feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)?

The one straight bolt indicates the path of the triggering wire, which of course is vaporized instantly, but the initial stroke follows in the plasma channel that gets created. The jagged bolts are successive dart leaders that came later. I think the wispy stuff is just smoke from the high temperatures. You can tell the sequence of strokes by the length of the smoke -- the longer it is, the earlier that stroke occurred, since the wind had a chance to move it further. And of course the earlier smoke is being illuminated by the later strokes, not by the strokes that caused it.

The other issue is that reflectivity from a tornado is going to be slight anyway.

Ehh, I wonder though... I recall reading about transparency / absorption / reflection of EM being a function of the medium's plasma frequency. Probably from the old thread on plasmonics.

Interesting point -- I don't know. Anybody?

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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby Osmosis » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:51 pm

Oh well, the airborne laser idea is probably no good. The grounding wire rockets certainly trigger lightning, as shown.
My other thought of sending magnetometers up into the plasmoid, still is worth considering, but use small sounding rockets instead. These could get to the right spot quite quickly, where something like a balloon would be much too slow and impossible to aim.
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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby biknewb » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:16 am

MGmirkin wrote:
CharlesChandler wrote:


As an aside, is it justme or is this image a good example of the difference between an arc discharge and a corona discharge (I think, though feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)?

IE, the long discrete squiggly pink bits are the lightning arcs, whereas the yellowish/greenish feathery stuff looks like a corona discharge... Hope I got that right. Pretty cool stuff!

~Michael Gmirkin


Great pictures! What the yellowish/greenish feathery stuff is, is hard to tell from this one picture. It does look like corona discharge, but isn't the time too short for that to develop? The smoke from copper containing wire would be greenish too. Maybe the smoke gets a feathered appearance from all this electricity?
Nice to see how the lightning strokes are following the ionised path while it is carried away on the wind.
I searched for more detailed pictures, found some, but same size. Did find a stormblog at http://www.stormblogging.com.

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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby TalonThorn » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:31 am

Awesome pic. Tx. :)
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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby CharlesChandler » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:41 am

Here's another photo:

Triggered Lightning 2.jpg
Triggered lightning, courtesy University of Florida

The more I look at it, the more I think that this is a lot of smoke coming from a very small wire. :) The wire is made of copper and kevlar, and there would be a little smoke to be sure, but how much? If anybody cares to track this down, I'd be curious to know. The main body of work is being done by the Lightning Research Group at the University of Florida:

http://www.lightning.ece.ufl.edu/

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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby biknewb » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:40 am

Suddenly I remember Bejamin Franklin. From these pictures it is quite obvious he never actually caught a lightning with his kite... Imagine him standing on that platform. :shock:
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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby CharlesChandler » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:59 am

Ben was a funny fellow. At a party once he succeeded in knocking himself unconscious with an electric shock, playing around with one of his electricity experiments for the bemusement of the crowd. They were well bemused. :mrgreen: Later (as I recall) he got the idea that lightning was electromagnetic. But remembering the earlier incident, he decided to publish his theory, but to wait for somebody else to try it first. :D When the other guy survived, THEN Ben gave it a go. Having been the first to publish the theory, he then gets credit for the whole thing. He may have been crazy, but he wasn't stupid. ;)
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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby MGmirkin » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:49 pm

CharlesChandler wrote:
As an aside, is it just me or is this image a good example of the difference between an arc discharge and a corona discharge (I think, though feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)?

The one straight bolt indicates the path of the triggering wire, which of course is vaporized instantly, but the initial stroke follows in the plasma channel that gets created. The jagged bolts are successive dart leaders that came later. I think the wispy stuff is just smoke from the high temperatures. You can tell the sequence of strokes by the length of the smoke -- the longer it is, the earlier that stroke occurred, since the wind had a chance to move it further. And of course the earlier smoke is being illuminated by the later strokes, not by the strokes that caused it.


Considering the "smoke" only exists on one side of the wire, and is in a plane perpendicular to the wire (more or less), I'm pretty sure it's more than just "smoke," per se? The fact that it also appears to be similarly luminous to the lightning leaders would also seem to be indicative of an energetic process, to me anyway. I'm pretty sure it's a corona discharge, given its apparent feathery structure (wish it was a slightly higher resolution image so it was more defined)...?

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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby biknewb » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:29 pm

MGmirkin wrote:Considering the "smoke" only exists on one side of the wire, and is in a plane perpendicular to the wire (more or less), I'm pretty sure it's more than just "smoke," per se? The fact that it also appears to be similarly luminous to the lightning leaders would also seem to be indicative of an energetic process, to me anyway. I'm pretty sure it's a corona discharge, given its apparent feathery structure (wish it was a slightly higher resolution image so it was more defined)...?

~Michael Gmirkin


The "smoke" is blown to one side by the wind. Remember, these photographs are made with long exposure times in order to record as much as possible. So the appearance of light and dark is not necessarily realistic. Okay I am just guessing on the basis of two photo's. :roll: And not getting a clear picture.

At the website http://www.lightning.ece.ufl.edu are some video's. One of them is in daylight, you can see what real smoke looks like. The rocket's smoke trail and the smaller trail of the burning trigger wire struck by lightning.

By the way, did you notice in the photo Charles sent, how clearly this lightning is spiralling?
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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby MGmirkin » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:03 pm

biknewb wrote:Great pictures! What the yellowish/greenish feathery stuff is, is hard to tell from this one picture. It does look like corona discharge, but isn't the time too short for that to develop? The smoke from copper containing wire would be greenish too. Maybe the smoke gets a feathered appearance from all this electricity?


Seeing as how the "feathery" stuff is from more or less the same frame as the lightning, might one ask: would smoke form more or less quickly than a corona discharge? *Cough* I'm still voting corona discharge. ;) The second image makes the case for me. It's essentially a sheet of material between between the main channel and the secondary channel. Methinks it's a sheet of corona discharge connecting the one leader stroke to the other...?

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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby MGmirkin » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:06 pm

biknewb wrote:The "smoke" is blown to one side by the wind. Remember, these photographs are made with long exposure times in order to record as much as possible. So the appearance of light and dark is not necessarily realistic. Okay I am just guessing on the basis of two photo's. :roll: And not getting a clear picture.

At the website http://www.lightning.ece.ufl.edu are some video's. One of them is in daylight, you can see what real smoke looks like. The rocket's smoke trail and the smaller trail of the burning trigger wire struck by lightning.

By the way, did you notice in the photo Charles sent, how clearly this lightning is spiralling?
regards


Well, if it's a long exposure, I suppose that might change a few things, eh? ;o]

Though they do still seem to be quite parallel streamers from the main channel over the the secondar(ies). Whether that means wind or just parallel discharges is unclear. But anyway. I suppose we've gotten off the topic of tornadoes, eh? ;o]

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Re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby soulsurvivor » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:11 pm

Yes, please get back to the tornado discussion. I live in the center of KY, and have been noticing since 2003 an appearance and increase in dust devils, whirling wind tunnels on the ground at all times of the year. I've lived in this part of KY all my life, early life spent living on a farm and outside observation was critical to survival. I'm not exaggerating this increase of wind vortexes that I'm seeing. Winter before last we had a really interesting snow where the winds produced hollow cylinder shapes out of snow and covering huge areas of land with these unusual forms. A few years ago we had a hailstorm that destroyed almost every roof in an 8 county area - massive and widespread damage. I saw hailstones the size of cement block. Two months ago, a whirlwind hit my house, not doing any damage, but did take some big limbs out of the trees, and it was a cloudless sky. None of this is to be confused with the straight line wind damage that Ky had when Ike roared through recently. What I'm talking about are vortex tunnel winds in minature, but not always all that small. It can be distinguished from normal straight line wind because you can see the debris carried within the tunnel wind that distinguishes the shape and movement around the vortex. It's not a topic that's addressed in our local weather reporting, to my knowledge.
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Ball Lightning and Tornadoes

Unread postby Solsearcher » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:27 am

I found Charles Chandler's article associating plasmas with tornadoes intruiguing. This link will be of special interest to anyone studying tornadoes or other cyclonic activity. http://www.padrak.com/ine/ELEWIS3.html

I have theorized that the increase in tornadic activity is directly related to the introduction of Doppler radar. Ball lightning has been consistently reproduced in the laboratory using microwave energy.
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re: Plasmoids Wreak Havoc in Tornado Alley!

Unread postby nikolatesla » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:10 am

in reference to this article;
http://www.thunderbolts.info/thunderblo ... t_chch.htm

quote; "2. The lower sheath is caused by the presence of ferrous and/or ferric oxide particles, which are magnetically responsive, and therefore are captured by the magnetic field around the charge stream."

In N/W Kansas, the soil around here is said to be very deficient in iron, causing maple tree leaves, for instance, to be yellow or yellow-green instead of green. I wonder if the tornadoes sucked so much of it out of the surface and blew it away?
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