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Why are Whirlpools not as big as Tornados/hurricanes?

  1. Dec 3, 2015 #1
    Any idea as to why Whirlpools, and maelstrom's aren't as large, or as powerful as tornado's and hurricane's?

    Does it have to deal with the energy capacity difference between the air (being a gas) and water (being liquid)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2015 #2
    Is there actually a notable size difference?

    If so, I imagine it's because of the density of the material and available energy. Water is denser than air, so it takes more energy to move it the same amount.
  4. Dec 3, 2015 #3
    There are very extensive circular currents that are as large as hurricanes. I'd guess that such currents have a lot more angular momentum than a hurricane. The effects aren't as dramatic, though.
  5. Dec 3, 2015 #4
    What are the current speeds compared to hurricane wind speeds?
  6. Dec 3, 2015 #5
  7. Dec 10, 2015 #6
    Thanks for the great answers!
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