Does this make any sense at all?



(Begin quote)

A tornadic thunderstorm can form where moist, warm air gets trapped beneath warm, dry air under a stable layer of cold, dry air. This air sandwich is called an inversion.

If the cap is disturbed by a front or movement in the upper atmosphere, the warm, moist air can punch through the stable air above it. The condensing of water vapor releases latent heat, and the warm air starts to spiral upward.  Aided by different winds at different levels of the atmosphere, the rotating updraft gains velocity.

We look for several ingredients when looking for potential tornado formation:

1. A large, layered sandwich develops in the atmosphere. Hot, humid air is trapped beneath cold, dry air.

2. The “cap” (a layer of stable air between the hot and cold air) is disturbed by winds in the upper atmosphere or by the arrival of a weather front.

3. Lower-level air rises and expands in the reduced air pressure aloft.

4. As the air cools, moisture condenses, releasing latent heat which warms the air, making it buoyant, and causing it to rise at speeds up to 150 mph. By now, the cloud is a thunderstorm. Upper-level winds tilt the thunderhead, creating the anvil shape.

5. The thunderstorm may die out in intense rain and/or hail. Or it may spawn a tornado.

6. Interactions between air at various altitudes, humidities and temperatures cause rain, lightning, air circulation and strengthening of the rotating updraft, now called a “mesocyclone.” Low-level wind helps cause this rotation, which is almost always counter-clockwise (seen from above) in the Northern Hemisphere.

7. A tornado may form below the mesocyclone. As the spinning air column narrows, it rotates faster and extends higher into the storm.

That, much simplified, is one theory of the origin of tornadoes.

(End quote)


Does this make sense to you?  Is it possible for a layer of (dry) air to have a surface (“cap”)?  Or is this rather obvious pseudo-science?

Take the poll:

Is it not a rather obvious tautology to refer to instability in the atmosphere as air that acts unstable?

Take the poll: 

Do you think Skyview should exercise more caution when it comes to spreading pseudo-scientific notions?

Do you think people who have lost relatives in tornadoes deserve better than this?



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