mharratsc wrote:1. Regarding Dust Devils:...it slowly meandered over towards the pile of scrap car bodies, and casually picked one up about 30 ft high and tossed it about 100 feet away from where it was...Are 'fair weather vortices' noted for that kind of power?
Conventional wisdom cannot guess at an explanation for this. In my opinion, that's proof that there is more to dust devils than just surface heating that results in a thermodynamic updraft. I just have no idea what that might be...
mharratsc wrote:2. Regarding Waterspouts: So a 'waterspout' is only considered a 'fair weather phenomenon'? So a tornado over water is still considered a proper tornado?
Like I said, the terms are used ambiguously in the literature, but meteorologists are coming to recognize that a supercellular vortex is the same breed whether it's over land or water, and that the "other" vortexes that more commonly occur over water, and sometimes over land, which are called waterspouts, are a different breed.
From the degree of damage, the vortex in Mobile Bay definitely sounds like a tornado. Was it connected to the cloud? (You said that the clear sky began at the beach, and the tornado was out in the bay, hence the question.) If a waterspout did that kind of damage, some people will have to do some re-thinking. Waterspouts are just a tad outside of my field of focus, so I can't say that I have studied them. But to my knowledge, they're not given credit for being capable of greater than F1 damage. Boats getting tossed up into the trees is way beyond F1 damage.
mharratsc wrote:So as to the above- how does that fit into the overall model of tornado behavior that we're trying to build here? I can understand maybe the hydro-tornado behaving like a normal tornado and being as strong as one, but... what about that clear blue sky dust devil I saw flinging car bodies around? Will the new model explain that?
Here's a video of some cars getting tossed around by a very small tornado, not quite as dramatically as what you saw, but still...
I'm having a really hard time believing that such is pure aerodynamics. For the air to enter the vortex and then turn upward and move that fast, there has to be more to it. So I'm looking at combinations of charges and aerodynamics. This might generalize to dust devils.
mharratsc wrote:Could you then consider a tornado as an instability brought on by such an immediate charge differential, that it creates a sustained charge transfer, that takes the form of a charged sheath vortex capable of generating a magnetic field of enough strength to overcome the magnetic field of the double layer and allowing for a much higher transfer of charge across one (or even more?) double layers of the atmosphere?
I haven't dismissed the possibility of such a transfer. But if it only comes into play after the tornado forms, then it's not what causes the tornado, and that's what I'm trying to answer.
mharratsc wrote:I do hope you forgive me, Charles- I know you have a lot of classical knowledge of the thermodynamic properties of storm and tornado evolution, and thus all the EU stuff we bring up gets worked into the nooks and crannies of that standard model. My problem is- I don't have that classical education, and I see everything from an electrical perspective with the thermo/hydro/geo-whatever descriptions worked into that!
First of all, relax! I thrive on criticisms! Second, I actually started out by totally dismissing thermodynamics, and by trying to work the whole thing through with the supercell as a plasmoid, where rapidly-moving electric charges were generating powerful magnetic fields that constrained the charges and turned the whole thing into a capacitor that would start behaving the way no thermodynamic system ever could. But as I've learned more, I'm coming to understand that at the speeds in question, the magnetic fields will be extremely weak. Still more powerful than the thermodynamic forces present, since thermodynamics is an artifact of gravity, which is 39 orders of magnitude weaker than electromagnetism. So a near-infinitesimal magnetic force might still dominate a thermodynamic system. But the electric forces will be way more powerful than the magnetic forces. So I've promoted the electric force and decentralized the magnetic force in the work that I'm doing. When I came to the conclusion that the electric force all by itself wouldn't yield the correct property set for explaining tornadoes, I then reconsidered the thermodynamics, and realized that the EM forces are modulating the thermodynamic forces.
mharratsc wrote:The effective means of determining whether a tornado will form or not from a supercell is going to be deduced by analyzing the values of electrical charge differential between the Earth and the topmost layer of a storm, and that- by analysis -a charge condition threshhold can be deduced that will accurately predict when and even where in the storm a tornado might form! Of course- the technology probably isn't yet available to determine if I'm right, or that I could ever convince anyone to even look...
The only way to proceed, then, is to work out, in broad strokes, what would be the expected properties of such forces. Do what can be done, and leave the rest for the next guy...
mharratsc wrote:How can we truly understand anything if we don't acknowledge that primacy in our observations of the Universe around us?
Absolutely! Meteorology (like astrophysics and other modern disciplines) is dominated by numeric modeling, and there's this "new pragmatism" that basically says, "don't sweat the small stuff -- a few anomalies don't amount to a reason for rethinking a well-accepted theory." The problem is that these anomalies are little road-signs telling them that they're lost. They can be "pragmatic" if they want, and continue to drive off into the wilderness. People like us, who read the road-signs, will beat them to the party.
solrey wrote:When the thermodynamics are sufficient to trigger a charge sheath vortex, within a "friendly" goemagnetic environment, the charge transfer/voltage is "shunted" through the charge sheath vortex, where most of the current is converted into kinetic energy in the form of wind, instead of heat and EM radiation in an arc discharge.
What is the mechanism by which electromagnetic energy is converted into wind?