Can we prevent tornadoes from occurring?
That would essentially require the ability to modify the weather or local climate.Can we prevent tornadoes from occurring?
How can we say this with any confidence? That assumes that he initial conditions would be fairly easy to manipulate. Even the idea of disrupting things with something like a shock wave may be little more than a flea on a dog, so to speak.This also means it would be fairly easy to prevent, since it's sensitive to initial conditions...
Warning and prevention are not necessarily unrelated issues. Both require that we understand the phenomenon. 60 years and a billion dollars have been spent attempting to understand tornadic storms. I think it's time we try something different for a while, especially since what I'm talking about would be ridiculously easy to test. If it worked, it would not only prove that tornado prevention was at least theoretically possible, but it would also teach us a lot about how tornadic storms work. That could lead to better prediction, and earlier, more accurate warnings.I think we need to focus on the more important matter, earlier warning!
This assumes that tornadoes are mechanisms whose internal structures could be wrecked by an explosion. This is not the case. Tornadic storms are fundamentally thermodynamic, where the fluxes are getting modulated by electromagnetic forces. There is no complex internal mechanism. Detonating an explosive would merely add to the thermodynamic force at play, which would probably strengthen the tornado.Couldn't we launch explosives into the tornado with enough power to 'kill' it?
Possibly for that particular tornado, what might be tricky is then stopping the one forming 1m away or 2 seconds later.Couldn't we launch explosives into the tornado with enough power to 'kill' it?
Absolutely, and the larger the explosives, the longer in advance and wider of an area you could cover with this "prevention" method. But as Ivan said, you run into issues with practicality: nuking a 10 mile diameter, 50,000 foot tall cumulonimbus cloud could no doubt prevent a tornado perhaps hours before forming, however...Couldn't we launch explosives into the tornado with enough power to 'kill' it?
In any open-air thermodynamic system, it is certainly true that all of the energy is going to get released sooner or later, and disrupting one thunderstorm could certainly cause another thunderstorm somewhere else. But the chance of that secondary thunderstorm becoming a supercell is 1 in 1,000. The chance of a supercell spawning a tornado is 1 in 3, so the chance of a secondary tornado is 1 in 3,000. The chance of a tornado being an F2 or above is 1 in 4, so the chance of a secondary tornado that could do some real damage is 1 in 12,000. Since most of the country is open space, the chance of a tornado actually hitting something is roughly 1 in 100. So the chance of secondary damage is 1 in 1.2 million. Then the only question is how successful tornado fighters will be in shooting down the secondary tornado, the same way they shot down the first one. There wouldn't be a secondary problem if they didn't succeed in the first place, so just to ask the question we have to assume that they are capable of succeeding. The worst case scenario would be that the chance of failure would be 1 in 2, nominally speaking. This puts the chance of an unmitigated secondary tornado at 1 in 2.4 million. Allowing 2.4 million primary tornadoes to hit populated areas because once in all of that, a secondary tornado will hit a populated area, wouldn't make much sense.Possibly for that particular tornado, what might be tricky is then stopping the one forming 1m away or 2 seconds later. If you disrupt the start of one vortex you don't do anything about the driving weather conditions.
)))) I just can't resist this -- you left too much up to the imagination there... )))Absolutely, and the larger the explosives, the longer in advance and wider of an area you could cover with this "prevention" method. But as Ivan said, you run into issues with practicality: nuking a 10 mile diameter, 50,000 foot tall cumulonimbus cloud could no doubt prevent a tornado perhaps hours before forming, however...
Another approach that is currently being researched is to beam microwave energy down from a satellite, to selectively add heat to the storm, to disrupt it, or to steer it away from land, or at least away from major cities on the coast. This is a highly dubious initiative, since there is truly no way to anticipate the side-effects. Nevertheless, you're right that considering what's at stake, stuff like this is at least worth looking into....consider the idea of nuking a hurricane. Hurricane Katrinia cost an estimated $300 billion and if for the cost of one nuke you could eliminate it offshore, it may be a worthwhile thing to do.
Tornadoes are caused by warm ground heating air resulting in a rising air mass. It has nothing to do with water content. Tornadoes do quite nicely in bone-dry areas.Could the properties of the water molecules in a supercell be changed enough by an aerosolized soap-like substance to prevent (or lessen) a tornado?
Perhaps I am wrong, but this is not my understanding of tornadoes. Though not definitive, my brief look at Wikipedia yields this quote:Tornadoes are caused by warm ground heating air resulting in a rising air mass. It has nothing to do with water content. Tornadoes do quite nicely in bone-dry areas.
Can you provide some further reading? I've not heard that it was a myth that was overturned.I think that in the old days the advice was to open your windows whe a tornado was coming (in order to equalize inside and outside air pressure). In the 1970s after a devastating tornado outbreak that was changed. Opening the windows makes it far more likely that the house will be destroyed.
Yes, and we should build more mobile homes so they don't starve. :tongue:I'm very saddened to hear about designs to prevent tornados. Tornados are natural to our planet and should be protected from extinction. It’s not the tornado’s fault we are encroaching upon their habitat. They were there first.
I feel very strongly about this.