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Hum

Building three "Great Walls" across Tornado Alley in the US could eliminate the disasters, a physicist says.

The barriers - 300m (980ft) high and up to 100 miles long - would act like hill ranges, softening winds before twisters can form.

They would cost $16bn (?9.6bn) to build but save billions of dollars of damage each year, said Prof Rongjia Tao, of Temple University, Philadelphia.

He unveiled his idea at the American Physical Society meeting in Denver.

However critics say the idea is unworkable, and would create more problems than it solves.

Every year hundreds of twisters tear through communities in the great north-south corridor between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountain ranges.

The proposed walls would not shelter towns - they would not be strong enough to block a tornado in motion.

Instead, they would soften the clashing streams of hot southern and cold northern air, which form twisters in the first place, Prof Tao said.

"If we build three east-west great walls, one in North Dakota, one along the border between Kansas and Oklahoma, and the third in the south in Texas and Louisiana, we will diminish the threats in Tornado Alley forever," he said.

 

"We've already been doing computer simulations and next we aim to build physical models for testing [in wind tunnels]."

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DocM

This has already been ridiculed from all sides, and for good reason: the premise is faulty. Tornadoes start at altitudes high enough that surface features have little effect on their formation.

Ex: in 2012 there was a tornado at 11,900 feet on Mt Evans in Colorado, and in 2004 there was a tornado at 12,000 feet in Sequoia National Park in California.

Not to mention that on average Kansas is already about 1,000 feet higher than Oklahoma.

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123456789A

Why not just create countertornados that spin in the opposite direction?

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Skin

Why not just create countertornados that spin in the opposite direction?

 

I would rather see science flip the earth upside down, so the tornadoes and winds just naturally move in the opposite direction. Let Colorado and Utah start feeling more of them and leave poor Kansas and Missouri alone.

 

Or create sharknados. Either thing works.

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chconline

Why not just create countertornados that spin in the opposite direction?

Or you can just take out your gun and shoot at the tornado :D

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Ian S.

Instead, we should work on building underground buildings and communities in those areas. (We would still have some stuff above ground)

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DocM

Stop the Earth from spinning and the winds from blowing. Problem solved! :Rofl:

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D. S.

Like the Wall of Life? Sure, that would work...

 

OIL0Quz.jpg

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The_Observer

how far in records do the US have with all these tornadoes. Have they getting stronger every year in the past 25-50 years or when you all playing cowboys and indians where they around.

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Joe User

This has already been ridiculed from all sides, and for good reason: the premise is faulty. Tornadoes start at altitudes high enough that surface features have little effect on their formation.

Ex: in 2012 there was a tornado at 11,900 feet on Mt Evans in Colorado, and in 2004 there was a tornado at 12,000 feet in Sequoia National Park in California.

Not to mention that on average Kansas is already about 1,000 feet higher than Oklahoma.

 

Why would the height of ground level in comparison to the ocean factor into this? You should be looking at how many tornadoes are forming a few miles east of Mt. Evans, after the mountain has disrupted the wind and heat patterns.

 

That being said, I think this needs more research. Tornadoes start in high altitudes, but other factors besides wind speed and temperature influence tornadoes. For example, a lack of moisture has been found to disrupt tornado formation. 

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Anibal P

This has already been ridiculed from all sides, and for good reason: the premise is faulty. Tornadoes start at altitudes high enough that surface features have little effect on their formation.

Ex: in 2012 there was a tornado at 11,900 feet on Mt Evans in Colorado, and in 2004 there was a tornado at 12,000 feet in Sequoia National Park in California.

Not to mention that on average Kansas is already about 1,000 feet higher than Oklahoma.

 

Just blame Global Warming or whatever new trendy name it has these days, it's the reason for EVERYTHING weather related  now a days 

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+Dick Montage
Just blame Global Warming or whatever new trendy name it has these days, it's the reason for EVERYTHING weather related  now a days 

 

Wow so wait... One weather pattern has a bearing on the other...

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123456789A

how far in records do the US have with all these tornadoes. Have they getting stronger every year in the past 25-50 years or when you all playing cowboys and indians where they around.

 

Recent phenomenon. Apple invented tornados in 1982.

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_dandy_

A wall like this should also keep the White Walkers out.

 

Not so crazy now, is it?

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macrosslover

Like the Wall of Life? Sure, that would work...

 

 

And that beast promptly got his butt kicked which means we're thinking about this wrong.  We don't need a giant wall we need GIANT ROBOTS!!!!

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Joe User

Just blame Global Warming or whatever new trendy name it has these days, it's the reason for EVERYTHING weather related  now a days 

 

The name hasn't changed much since the 1890's.

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TDT

Easy. Just use this as inspiration :P

 

The_Wall_from_the_south.jpg

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DocM

how far in records do the US have with all these tornadoes. Have they getting stronger every year in the past 25-50 years or when you all playing cowboys and indians where they around.

They are endemic, especially to the to the Tornado Alley region (US southwest to midwest corridor), and have been for centuries. The word was coined by the Spanish settlers in the southwest and the far west, and they are also in Native American lore. Kako-u'hth?, Cyclone Man/Person, is the storm spirit of the Shawnee and Lenape people in the midwest and east.

The problem with counting them before the 1950's is that the population then in much of the Alley was sparse, as was meteorological data, and so reporting was spotty. Thst said, this is the trend of strong tornadoes (EF3 and up) from 1954 to 2012,

tornado2-600x410.jpg

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Gerowen

I could understand the premise of this.  Here in eastern Kentucky we "rarely" get tornadoes.  However, in recent years, with things like mountaintop removal for coal and the widening of valleys to accommodate cities, we've seen an increase in tornado activity.  In 2012 West Liberty and Salyersville (my town) were pretty much erased by an F3 tornado, something that has never happened before.

 

The tornado that did hit us landed on a hilltop town with no real obstructions around (West Liberty), and just kind of bounced around.  Whenever it would run into a hillside, it would just jump over it.  My dad lives up a holler and said when the power went out, he didn't yet know what was going on, and watched the funnel cloud float over the narrow valley he lives in.  It wasn't until an hour or so later that word got out it was a tornado that had wiped out the town, which is why they lost power.

 

My point being, it does make sense that putting "something" in the way could at least divert tornadoes away from heavily populated areas, if it was big enough.  The problem would be predicting what path the tornadoes would be likely to take and keeping it from just jumping over your big wall and landing in the town anyway.  I can see people just erecting hundreds of these walls all over the place every time a tornado takes a new path of approach, without them every "really" accomplishing anything.

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123456789A

Scientists are really making a lot of advancements in tornado research. For example, they were recently able to map patterns of this F1 tornado.

 

f1-aerodynamics-3.jpg

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Hum

Or we could try ...

 

inShar

Microwaves could prevent tornadoes

Ben Eastlund, a former head of nuclear fusion research for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, intends to prove that man really can play god with earth?s natural disasters, by fighting off the feared phenomenon, possibly with solar power satellites, and has performed successful computer simulations to demonstrate his theory.

Eastlund, whose home has twice been hit by tornadoes told New Scientist magazine that his theory was inspired by his plans for a Star Wars-style missile shield using microwave antennae in the 1980s. ?While I worked on the antenna idea, patents were filed on everything that we might do with it,? Eastlund recalled in the 9 August edition of the magazine. ?I saw that with so much power, it might be possible to heat the edge of the jet stream of high-speed winds that passes right over Alaska, altering its direction.?

Eastlund then realised that it would take a lot less energy to prevent tornadoes than he had initially imagined, and far less than it would to change the direction of the entire jet stream. ?I chose tornadoes as an initial area of severe storm research because they are in the low range of storm energy turnover,? Eastlund said. Tornadoes normally start inside thunderstorms where warm, humid air rises through a layer of colder air. The air cools as it rises, so the moisture in it starts to condense. Eastlund thinks that this cold, rainy downdraft represents the necessary crucial flow of energy in forming a tornado, and that the heat created by hitting it with a beam of microwaves, might cut off the energy flow that allows a tornado to form.

The power source for the microwaves could be a network of solar power satellites equipped with vast solar panels, whose effect Eastlund simulated using a computer at the University of Oklahoma's Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms. ?We got rid of the cold, rainy downdraft. We're not sure why, though. It could be because the heat from the microwave beam slows the fall rate of the downdraft by providing buoyancy,? Eastlund said.
 

http://www.edie.net/news/0/Microwaves-could-prevent-tornadoes-researcher-says/3078/

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stumper66

Just bring in lots of tornado hunters like the guy below and we'll be good.

 

tornado_hunter.png

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+Red King

What about dropping bombs on tornadoes to clear them up?

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Torolol

Microwaves

well, that was stuff called HAARP ...
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DocM

What about dropping bombs on tornadoes to clear them up?

Good luck. The amount of energy it would take to disrupt a medium to large tornado would mean nukes, and then the blast effects would probably do more damage than the twister.

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