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Hu, W. (2011). Tornado-genesis can be explained by charge relativity. PHILICA.COM Article number 280.

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Tornado-genesis can be explained by charge relativity

Wan-Jiung Huunconfirmed user (Academia Sinica, Taiwan, Hong Kong University)

Published in geo.philica.com

The genesis of tornado is still a puzzle. According to obeservations, tornadogenesis is usually related to supercell, a thounderstorm cloud. Thus, electricity plays an important role in the tornadogenesis. In my previous article, I propose charge relativity which says that charge can cause space-time torsion(whirlpool). Thus, charge relativity can explain the torsion wind of tornadoes. This new theory can explain the origin of tornados. More important, it can help to predict and control tornadoes, the detrimental natural diasters.

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Tornado is a detrimental nature disaster. It usually causes huge life and financial loss. However, the exact mechanism of tornado is still unknown. Here, I am proposing a new theory to explain the tornado-genesis. I sincerely hope this new theory can help in tornado prediction to prevent from the harmful effects by tornado.


The most puzzling part of tornado-genesis is the origin of spinning of wind. Although many tornados are following the rule of Coriolis force, there are also exceptions. Coriolis force can be successfully applied for larger scale storm such as hurricane or typhoon to explain their rotation direction. However, Coriolis force cannot successfully predict the rotation direction of tornado. In my previous paragraph, I proposed charge relativity to describe that charge can cause space-time vortex. In fact, I think charge also plays a very important role in tornado-genesis. The spinning of tornado wind is actually closely related to space-time vortex induced by charges.

Most tornados start with a huge thunderstorm. The thunderstorm is a huge cloud with a great amount of electric charges. Why does cloud carry electric charges? We can first look at the mechanism of lightning generation. In the space around our earth, there are two bands called Van Allen belts carrying a great amount of charges. The outer Van Allen belt is composed of electrons, so it is negatively charged. The inner Van Allen belt is composed of protons, so it is positively charged. The two Van Allen belts are surrounding earth because of earth's gravity and magnetism. Electrons are lighter than protons, so they form outer Van Allen belt. These two Van Allen belts are also affected by earth's spinnity, so the equator sky has more electron and proton charges. Because the inner Van Allen belt is positively charged, the ground surface of our earth can be reactively to have negative charges. As for thunderstorm formation, the bottom of humid huge cloud can react to the earth's surface negative charges to have positive charges. And, the middle layer of the cloud can have negative charge. The upper layer of the cloud can have positive charge. Lightning occurs when the cloud accumulates a great amount of charge and the atmosphere humidity increases to enhance conductivity. Humidity can also help the H2O in cloud to dissolve easier to become H+ and OH- ions. Thus, raining is usually associated with lightning.


Tornado is also due to the accumulated charge in the thunderstorm cloud. More than 90% tornadoes develop from a class of thunderstorms known as supercells. Stronger supercells are associated with stronger tornados. Supercells all happen before the onset of tornados. Supercells contain mesocyclones, an area of organized rotation a few miles up in the atmosphere, usually 1-6 miles across. After a huge amount of charge accumulated in thunderstorm cloud, the bottom tip of cloud can attract near-ground air with opposite charge. Thus, besides the supercells, another important factor must present. That is a veering wind which is a progressive shifting of the wind. Since electrostatic charge can cause space-time vortex (whirlpool-like), the near-ground air can be spirally attracted to the charged thunderstorm. Thus, a twister is formed. That is why tornado is usually associated with thunder and lightning. Since the Coulomb electrostatic force is very strong compared to Newton gravity, the velocity of the vortex wind can be very fast. Thus, tornado can be very detrimental. The spinning direction of tornado is decided by the positive or negative charge of the thunderstorm. Thus, tornado can be both clockwise and counterclockwise. However, since our earth surface is majorly negatively charged, we can see majority of tornado have certain spin direction. In recent studies, positive cloud-to-ground polarity is found in majority of tornadoes.


Tornados usually develop in near equator area. There are two reasons for this phenomenon. First, there is lightning-temperature relationship. Lightning usually happens in high temperature area. It can be because heat energy can be transformed into electric energy. Atmosphere electricity is highest at noon and afternoon compared to that in morning or night. This reason can also explain why tornados usually happen in late spring and summer between 3 pm and 7 pm, which is the hottest periods of the day and the year. Second, the Van Allen belt is thickest above the equator area. Thus, there is highest possibility to have reactive charge phenomenon in equator area. Thus, lightning and tornado can easily happen in equator area. It is worth noting that lightning is not only associated with temperature but also associated with humidity. Thus, wet bulb temperature is more correctly related to lightning and tornado.


There is a temperature-charge relationship which is important in electrolyte solution. Thunderstorm cloud is mimicking the electrolyte solution. The relation is called thermal voltage:


Vt=KT/q (Vt: thermal voltage, K=Boltzmann constant, T: absolute temperature, q=charge)


This formula can explain the lightning-temperature relationship. Thermal energy can be transformed into electric energy.


There are many evidences pointing out tornados are actually driven by charge relativity. First, tornadoes can emit on the electromagnetic spectrum. Abnormal E-field effects are usually detected during tornadoes. In addition, seismic signatures can also be detected during tornadoes. As we know, earthquake is actually the release of electromagnetic radiation. And, accelerated charges during tornado wind spinning should emit electromagnetic radiation. Thus, it is not surprising that electromagnetic signals can be detected during tornadoes. Second, there is a relationship between lightning and tornado. Overall cloud-to-ground lightning activity decreased as a tornado reaches the earth surface and returns to the original level when the tornado lifts. It can be explained that the cloud electricity decreased if there is direct contact with the opposite charges on ground via tornado winds. When the direct contact is removed during tornado lifts, the cloud electricity can be regained and increase lightning activity. In many cases, intense tornadoes exhibit an increased and anomalous dominance of positive polarity cloud-to-ground discharges. These evidences strongly suggest that charge relativity plays an important role in tornado synthesis.


We can also use this model to explain waterspout and landspout. Classical tornadoes are charged cloud to attract near-ground air with opposite charges. In waterspout, the charged cloud can attract water from sea or lake which carries the opposite charges. In landspout, the charged cloud can attract dirt from ground which carries the opposite charges. However, since water and dirt have masses, the usual strengths of waterspouts and landspouts are weaker and they have shorter life spans than classical tornadoes.  


The United States of America has the most tornadoes of any country, almost four times more than estimated in all of Europe. This is mostly due to the special geography of the continent. North America is a large continent that extends from the tropics north into arctic areas, and has no major east-west mountain range to block air flow between the two areas. That is why tornadoes usually happen in America, especially in Middle-West area. I think this new tornado theory is very interesting. If we know the actual mechanism of tornado genesis, we can develop better methods for tornado prediction. For example: we can detect electromagnetic signals to predict if a tornado is going to happen. We can also develop methods to destruct tornadoes. We may emit charge bombs to the tornado to help to eliminate the excessive charges in tornadoes. I am looking forward to the applications of this new theory!



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2.Tatom F et al. Tornado detection based on seismic signal Journal of Applied Meterology 34,572-582 (1995)

3.Leeman JR et al. Electric signals generated by tornados Atmospheric Research 92, 277-9 (2009)

4.Perez AH et al. Characteristics of cloud-to-ground lightning associated with violent tornadoes Weather and Forecasting 12,428-437 (1997)

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Hu, W. (2011). Tornado-genesis can be explained by charge relativity. PHILICA.COM Article number 280.

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