My response to two questions from Harold Brooks (via Twitter).
My general impression of these questions:
These are both valid, well considered, observations/disputes of my hypothesis/premise (and/or implications thereof). If we are to theorize the jet stream as the puppetmaster of ALL storms then we need to be able to reconcile/explain these observations.
1) Observation that most (or, at least, many) thunderstorms (and storms in general) initiate far from jet stream. (The most prominent example being, IMO, hurricanes.)
First a disclaimer:
My thinking is incomplete (and, possibly, in its infancy) on this issue.
Consider the possibility that observed jet stream is just the main flow that has many tributaries (like a river), many of which are largely or complete invisible to us, either because they are very high (running along boundary between troposphere and stratosphere [and/or tropopause]) or simply because they are subtle (or both).
I know that this isn’t, maybe, the most satisfying answer to your question, but it’s the best I can do at this time.
2) Observation that the season of strongest jet, winter, is also season with least thunderstorms.
I consider this observation to be consistent with and even confirming of my hypothesis. But understanding how and why I feel this way might best be understood after reading chapters 4 and 5 of my book. I’ll just say that the JS tends to follow (or, more specifically, grow into) paths of differentness. (This activity causes storms to pull more H2O higher in the atmosphere.) However, these paths of differentness originate in the lower troposphere during periods of calm weather. During the winter there is so much general disturbance in the atmosphere that long, straight, high quality paths of differentness (these are more commonly referred to as “inversion” layers) are unable to form in the lower troposphere. During the spring, however, there are periods of peaceful and relatively warm weather conditions that allow the formation of long, straight, high quality paths of differentness (“inversion layers”). At the same time (for reasons that are not 100% clear to me) there is a general lack of alternate paths of differentness in the upper troposphere. Consequently the JS starts to follow a path lower and lower in the troposphere. If and when it does find its way to one of these newer paths of differentness in the lower troposphere there can be a relatively rapid growth of JS, resulting in large amounts of energy flowing out of upper JS, causing Tstorms and, sometimes, tornadoes.
I’m not saying I have it all figured out. And to get a better understanding of what I mean by phrases like, “paths of differentness,” and “growth of jet stream (Vplasm), and concepts like the jet stream being the source of energy I can only point you toward my book. But even there it is still sketchy. All of this is still a work in progress.
Keep in mind that the convection model (the assumption that moist air is lighter and convects up through dry air) was refuted in my mind a long time ago (2 or 3 years ago). In considering alternative models I had to be sure that my alternative model explained the things that the convection model seemed to explain 1) uplift and 2) how/why moisture gets high in our atmosphere. And it also had to explain other phenomena, like storms and tornadoes. By invoking atmospheric H2O as being instrumental in how the jet stream achieves structure and structure as being instrumental as to how the jet stream achieves atmospheric flow I feel as though I’m making progress toward a more parsimonious general model.
Thanks for such well considered questions.