8 November 2009 [Publications]
Wind velocity profiles for hurricanes and tornadoes

Makarieva A.M., Gorshkov V.G. (2009) Condensation-induced kinematics and dynamics of cyclones, hurricanes and tornadoes. Physics Letters A, 373, 4201-4205. Abstract. PDF (0.4 Mb).

What is this paper about? Air pressure at the Earth's surface is approximately equal to air weight in the atmospheric column. Weight is proportional to the number of gas molecules in the column. Condensation removes water vapor from the gas phase, reduces the weight of air column and, hence, air pressure at the surface. In the result, air starts to stream from the neighborhood to the area where condensation takes place. It brings together more water vapor, which sustains condensation and low surface pressure. As long as there is enough water vapor in the incoming air, the winds will persist. Whether it will be a mild wind of the forest moisture pump, a violent hurricane or a tornado, will depend on the horizontal size of the area where condensation takes place. In this paper it is shown how the new theory of condensation-induced atmospheric circulation reproduces wind velocity profiles in hurricanes and tornadoes as dependent on the distance from the center of the considered wind structure.

Like animals feeding on plants, hurricanes and tornadoes feed on potential energy of water vapor and have to move on when it is locally depleted.

How does that relate to biotic regulation? Hurricanes and tornadoes arise as compact spatial and temporal fluctuations of the condensation process. Natural forests create a non-random spatial scale for condensation preventing dangerous fluctuations. Condensation no longer erratically occurs over a variety of scales. It is consistently more intense over the natural forest canopy than over the ocean. Hence, winds blow from the ocean to the forest-covered continent along several thousand kilometers. For such a large circulation pattern surface friction is substantial, so violent winds do not form. Circulation fluctuations are smoothed, hurricanes and tornadoes do not develop either on land or in the ocean. Extensive forest cover precludes formation of such weather extremes both on the continent and on the adjacent oceanic area by smoothing the temporal and spatial fluctuations of condensation processes. Forest recovery not only is a guarantee of a stable regional runoff and water cycle, but will also protect the continent against the threat of hurricanes and tornadoes.