Scientists made a revolutionary discovery regarding tornadoes. Until now it was believed that they form in the sky and then reach the Earth. However, it appears that this theory might be wrong, and in fact things go the other way around. Meteorologist Jana Houser from Ohio University studied tornadoes for years. A paper containing their findings is available online.
“Historically, the generally accepted hypothesis surrounding tornadogenesis in supercell thunderstorms is referred to as the ‘top-down’ hypothesis. According to this theory, strong rotation develops above the ground first, followed by progressively strengthening rotation at lower heights until the vertically rotating column intersects the ground, contracts, and forms a tornado. This paper provides evidence from a novel rapid-scanning mobile Doppler radar (RaXPol) that this hypothesis is likely incorrect,” begins the paper.
Capturing the birth of a tornado
It is not simple to catch the exact moment when a tornado is formed, as this happens very quickly, and the actual birth might be hidden by houses, trees and other things. However, Houser and her team managed to gather essential data about four tornadoes, which were born of supercell storms.
Two of them happened outside Galatia and Russell in Kansas, and two in El Reno Oklahoma. One of the El Reno tornadoes was the widest measured. More than that, out of those 4 tornadoes, none formed in the sky.
The combined photographic evidence and radar measurements. They soon noticed that a tornado funnel can be spotted on the ground before rotation reached higher altitudes. The same patterns appeared for all the tornadoes.
The big one in El Reno was a bit different, as it had rotation at different elevations at the same time. This indicates that there might be more than one mode of tornadogenesis, but it still proves that tornadoes don’t start in the sky.
Laura grew up in a small town in northern Quebec. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Laura is an advocate for people with disabilities.