Chasing Could End

I have read about a certain thing in books, about destroying the vortex of a tornado by using explosive, or microwave beams to disrupt the pressue and cold air circulation, or something. They say it will be test in the next 10 years.

The websites are


What do you gusy think about this, do youi think it could work? They say they would to be like a fire fighter, like when ever theirs a tornado go, and stop it. Take a good look at those articles, and you'll see. Do you see any success in this?

Personally, I don't know if I'm all for it, it might save people but, I do not think we should mess with mother nature, she makes the choices, not us.
I think I speak for everyone when I say "don't waste valuable though processes on this garbage". Hell, the physicist in the 2nd article doesn't even understand the concept of an inversion layer. It's obvious he has no knowledge of the atmosphere. Stupid people piss me off.

In a thunderstorm, warm, humid air near the ground rises. As the air moves upward, it starts to spiral. At a certain point high above the ground, the warm air runs into a layer of colder, heavier air. That cold layer acts as a barricade, forcing the spinning air back down again to form a mesocyclone.
I think I speak for everyone when I say "don't waste valuable though processes on this garbage". Hell, the physicist in the 2nd article doesn't even understand the concept of an inversion layer. It's obvious he has no knowledge of the atmosphere. Stupid people piss me off.

In a thunderstorm, warm, humid air near the ground rises. As the air moves upward, it starts to spiral. At a certain point high above the ground, the warm air runs into a layer of colder, heavier air. That cold layer acts as a barricade, forcing the spinning air back down again to form a mesocyclone.

I agree...

There would be several major hurdles to jump over for something like this to happen. First, you would have environmentalists which would lobby, and have a significant impact. Then, as Nick said, you are talking about using methods which are more harmful than the actual tornado itself. Firing missles and radiation is never a good thing, especially when the supercell is long lived and will just reproduce another tornado within minutes.

One would have to alter then ENTIRE storm, not just the funnel cloud. These crackpots are trying to get rid of the result, rather than the cause - which gets you no where.
HAHA! I so aggree, and not to mention all of the tax payers, who will have to be paying money into the huge budget this will cost, lol. To be honest I'm not sure what an inversion layer is, lol, but if I don't know what something is I don't talk like I do, I say, "You know what I'm not sure about that, I'll have to look up on that and read", and I damn people who proclaim to be something they aren't. This moron was just someone who moved to texas and got something destroyed and said, "I'LL STOP THEM!", lol. But, I think their are also some ethical issues involved here to, it's mama nature, and she'll do what she wants. I think the physist...did I spell that right?, wants to block the cold air layer from hitting the warm air layer, so that no rotation can form but I don't know if this is possible, or even if he knew what he was talking about, what do you think?
This stuff is all pretty old. If you dig back through some of the older ST threads, I think even from last spring, you'll find an extended discussion about these projects - well the tornado fighters I recall in particular. I think it's just another friendly reminder that creating web pages is easy, and you shouldn't believe everything you read on the web.

Alright. Another thing that makes me a little upset is that the website says that the SPC and the NWS isn''t doing anything to help people, which is extremely false.
So I decided to finish reading the article, and because I'm feeling particularly bitter at the moment, I've decided to expand upon my previous comments.

Bernard Eastlund has a score to settle. Back in 1982, Eastlund had just moved to Houston, Texas, when a tornado hit his property. The tornado didn't hurt him or his house, but it mowed down all his pine trees. "That was scary enough" he said.
Why is it that people who come up with stuff are almost invariably victims of tornadoes? How come the people who spend years studying the beasts don't dream up these ideas? Oh that's right, resentment breeds idiocy.
Eastlund believes he can prevent tornadoes by halting the formation of mesocyclones--huge, swirling columns of air that occur during thunderstorms. In a thunderstorm, warm, humid air near the ground rises. As the air moves upward, it starts to spiral. At a certain point high above the ground, the warm air runs into a layer of colder, heavier air. That cold layer acts as a barricade, forcing the spinning air back down again to form a mesocyclone. If the mesocyclone touches the ground, it becomes a more tightly coiled funnel of spinning air, or a tornado, and mayhem may ensue.
If you believe this, quit storm chasing and resign your ST membership now. Like Scott quipped (with his rapier-like wit): "and bowl-shaped racetracks spawn tornadoes." Let's continue on and see how dumb this really is.
Mesocyclones might be stopped, says Eastlund, by busting the cold air barricade with microwave radiation--the same electromagnetic waves you use to nuke popcorn in a microwave oven. According to Eastlund's calculations, raindrops in the cold barricade would absorb the microwaves and release as much as a billion watts of energy. That energy would heat the surrounding cold air and smash the cold barrier the way dynamite demolishes a concrete wall. With no barrier in place, warm, spinning air would continue rising instead of being forced back down to form mesocyclones and tornadoes.
Except that by warming the air, it would rise faster, increasing the strength of the storm. This guy needs to look at a skew-t. Cold air aloft doesn't prevent updrafts, warm air does.
How on Earth could a microwave beam nuke a mass of air? Not from Earth, but from space. Eastlund proposes having Earth-orbiting satellites do the job. Solar panels on the satellites would collect energy from the sun and convert it to microwave beams. Eastlund calls his proposed satellites Thunderstorm Solar Power Satellites (TSPS).

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) toyed with a similar idea in the 1960s as a way of creating an alternate energy source for Earth. NASA planned to have microwaves beamed down to receiving stations on Earth, where the beams would be converted to electricity.
Hmm. They haven't tried it since the 1960s...maybe it didn't work?

Eastlund first came up with his idea for blasting tornadoes during the mid1980s while working for an oil exploration company in Alaska. At the time, the U.S. government was exploring a plan called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to shield the country from nuclear attack.

One idea for SDI involved opening a missileproof umbrella of high-energy electrons over the United States. Eastlund suggested erecting large microwave antennas, powered by Alaska's huge natural gas reservoir, that would fire microwaves into the ionosphere. The ionosphere is a layer of the upper atmosphere full of charged particles. The microwaves and the ionosphere's charged particles would interact and release hordes of electrons. Those electrons, attracted by Earth's magnetic field, would form a missileproof dome over the United States.
Again with the didn't work?
The SDI plan never went further than the development stage.
Eastlund teamed up with colleagues at the University of Oklahoma's Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms
.Bull. If I get in my car and follow the DOW around the plains, can I claim I teamed up with Josh Wurman? I'd bet good money that CAPS wasn't going along with this half-baked (half-nuked?) idea as the article implies.
Sometime in the next decade, Eastlund hopes to test his theory. To do that, he says, he will need a sophisticated Doppler radar system that can look downward from a satellite and locate mesocyclones within thunderclouds. He will also need access to instruments on board the International Space Station to create minibursts of microwaves to test whether they have enough power to heat even the slightest amount of air in a storm cloud.
Okay, so let's think about this. A WSR-88D has a pretty wide beam width at 120nm...GOES-12 is at 35775km (according to Orbitron). How big of an antenna would we need to resolve a mesocyclone on the surface? Would the moon be big enough? And what about the poor people who happen to be near an errant microwave beam? Do they get crispied?
Some scientists are skeptical of Eastlund's idea.
If by some you mean all, then yes.
Eastlund is optimistic, though. He hopes that by the time he's ready to start running experiments, a new generation of scientists and engineers will be helping him out. Already, he's heard from one interested middle school student. Eastlund helped the boy create a mini-mockup of his satellite system, "One of my proudest moments," said Eastlund, "was [when] the 11-year-old [got] an A+ on his science project."
He hopes that this new generation will be stupid enough to go along with him. Sure, he can convince an 11 year-old. Just wait til the 11 year-old starts studying the atmosphere. Ooops. Wait another generation I guess.

In conclusion, is this guy a degreed physicist or just some guy who plays with F=ma for fun? If he has a degree, I want to know from where and why it hasn't been snatched from his office wall in the middle of the night. As for the rest of my issues with the's the e-mail I sent to [email protected] :
I must take issue with Suzanne Mengel's 4/20/01 article entitled "Taming
twisters." While it makes for a good read, it lacks that element of
research that would make it good journalism. The physicist at the focus
of this article posesses no knowledge of the physics or thermodynamics of
the atmosphere. The concept he presents of the process of tornadogenesis
is laughable (in polite terms) to scientists and storm chasers who have given an earnest effort the study of tornadoes.

Your reporter either did not bother to do any in-depth research to find
out why the ideas presented are not practical/possible, or chose to ignore
what she found. As a scientist, I find such a one-sided presentation of
"fact" to be irresponsible and frankly reprehensible. I realize that
reporters are rarely experts on the subjects they cover, but this is so
full of error as to suggest a blantant disregard for anything more than a
sensational story. This is the only article from your site that I have
read, and it may very well be the last.

Ok, I have to jump on this band wagon. I am not the smartest of people, but I know I think in the late 60's they (UN) passed a law stateing no one is to try and use weather modifying war fare or anything for that matter! I think this jack*** fails to realize that if you screw with mother nature, she will do it right back and you don't get dinner and a movie! Second about the comment about people who do these type of idiotic things are people who get hit by a tornados. I thinks it's true. At least the peopel who don't live in tornado alley directly. I was in a tornado when I was 4 and all it made me do is want to learn more about them. Not stop them! I hate stupid people! Ok I am done. Have a good evening everyone!

I can see another movie coming on!

Pehaps it will be a cross between Deep Impact and Category Six!

I won't even bother to read the article.


Jimmy Deguara
Don't believe this one bit. Even by following his ideas of how you could destroy a tornado by heating the air your looking at producing insane amounts of energy. For example if we were to heat half of a half mile wide tornado were looking at about 250000 m^2. Also, say he was right about the air up lifting were probably looking at an updraft/downdraft rate of at least 25mph or 11m/s. This means we would need to heat about 2840000(m^3)/s, and following standard air density that is about 3550000kg/s. Also if we are extremely nice and heating completely dry air this means the heat capacity is around 1.005kJ/kg per degree C. From looking at some of the temp differences around a tornado we would probably need a 2.7C degree change in temp. So, if your following me were looking at about a billion watt power generation. This is also if the system is close to perfect no energy loss. Try carring that around while chasing. LOL :lol:
IMHO, there's a little more science (not much!) behind using polyacrylamide, e.g. Dyn-O-Gel, for tornado control. It's at least theoretically possible to drop an amount of product into the updraft that's significant at storm-scale. One can hypothesize that locking up thousands of tons of coelescence as goo may do something significant to inhibit the critical RFD mechanism. Of course it also may spin 8" frozen goo-laced hailstones downwind, not to mention the thousands of tons of glop landing everywhere and slowly decaying into acrylamide, a rather nasty carcinogen.

Worth a try, doncha think? :roll:
Hey, I'm all for it. After all, what harm could massive amounts of microwave radiation beamed earthward from satellites possibly do?

Frankly, I'm not going to worry too much about the demise of stormchasing--at least, not due to some hare-brained scheme like this. It's like a mouse trying to stop a tiger by farting in its face.
All of this is a VERY old idea... Doswell wrote about the idea (that occured to many different people in the past) of using bombs/explosives to distrupt tornadoes a decade ago:

It's a dumb idea, it will never happen. It is also very clear that this guy has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to meteorology...
Even if you could stop a tornado would it really be in the best interest of everyone to stop it? Sure peoples lives might be saved and the economic damage will be reduced. But, I suspect it will end up like wildfires. Wildfires were surpressed for decades and this allowed all of the undergrowth to build up. Now when a fire burns through this there is nothing that can be done to stop it or even slow its progress. The only option left is to flee. To me this is something that shouldn't be messed with if theres even a slight risk of creating 'super' storms and I wish this would be expressed more. However, the NWS has started to take this stance. After the hurricanes in Florida last year a lot of people came up with ideas for stopping hurricanes. The NWS told them to stop wasting their time on this and to work towards better goals like improving building codes so that houses in hurricane zones can sustain higher winds and such.
I think it would, if it could be done at acceptable cost and without other negative environmental effects. It's different with hurricanes IMO that are important contributors to the transfer of excess heat poleward. With tornados it's not necessary to erase them completely, but merely to keep the circulation aloft from getting pinned to the ground. If you could do that, you'd eliminate almost all the negative human effects while preserving almost all of the positive thermodynamic effects, whatever they might be.
"If it is Uneven ... Even it out!"

Nature has tornadoes for a reason, to "balance" out the transfer of heat energy in the atmosphere. It is a natural process that must occur, stopping it or slowing it often will have even worse outcomes down the road ... The "butterfly effect" does apply here too!

First of all, microwave beams and explosives are not enough to have an effect, at least in my opinion. This will be like spitting into a blast furnace and expecting the fire to go out - It won't happen.

Collateral damage - Explosives can hit a nearby town or farm, or people, such as storm chasers (no pun intended), whether or not the tornado was controlled. Even if the tornado being targeted is in remote areas, noise and shock waves from the explosives can crack windows and plaster at great distances, as well as annoy people.

Now a 100-Megaton hydrogen bomb, yeah ... That might affect it, but blow away a good portion of the earth and atmosphere with it too, not to mention making the entire central US radioactive for the next 500 years.

RF Burns - Effects of microwaving or warming an RFD is not known, and like the explosives, probably will not have an effect. Also, a tremendous amount of power will be required, so special equipment such as a nuclear power pack on a vehicle (or satellite, aircraft, etc) would be required. Not something the governor of Oklahoma would be too happy about!

What happens if the high power microwaves hit a town or people, livestock, etc. under the supercell?

Anyone remember the "microwave oven" scene from the 1993 SCI-FI / Horror movie "Ghost in the machine"?

You probably don't want to remember it ... A person's kitchen turned into a microwave "oven" and RF power heated everything in it, including shriveling fruits in dishes, food jars and bottles exploding, running arcs along hanging pots, things catching fire, and uh-um a grim, gorey, and detailed portrayal of the person in the kitchen agonizingly turning into boiling flesh and exploding.

Watch where you aim that HERF (high energy RF) beam.

In reality, at lower microwave levels, people and lifestock may not be boiled, BUT, electronics will. That's what HERF weapons are being developed for - To inflict disabling and costly repairs to electronics. Such experiments will effectively hose every radio, video camera, laptop a chaser (and the people in a town as well) could have!

Now, if some of these "tornado fighting" tactics do work, and a tornado is prevented - Great! Right? Well, until a year later the energy that would have been released, and did not get that chance to be released, causes a weakening tropical storm in the Pacific to just barely have enough strength to intensify (otherwise it would have weakened) to the point where it becomes better organized, becomes a typhoon, then the largest typhoon on record, rakes the Phillipines, then China, then Japan, and kills a couple of 100 thousand people ... I would stick with the tornado instead!

Save your money, and taxpayers money, and just "leave it alone."

I posted another post where I suspected some electronic issues may result from "experiments", if they are being done, since my chaser partners and I have ALWAYS had major electronics issues while chasing in the plains. And excerpt from the post is below...


In Enid, Oklahoma back in May 2002 at a Super-8 Motel, Eric Nguyen, Scott Blair, and myself found a vehicle parked in front of the motel. It was from Los Alamos (NM) and had the "seimenns" and "advanced radiological atmospherics" labels on it. It had a key-swipe in the coded-entry door locks and was armored. In the back was an elaborate collection of electronics and "pipes" coated with foil, all in a "faraday cage" of grated wire surrounding the (reactor?) compartment, and a sign saying "danger: if light is on - nuclear containment failure". This truck was topped with some very strange looking radar dish labeled "high energy pulsed radar". The people for this vehicle left business cards with us, and after months of emailing / phoning with little or no responce, Eric Nguyen got hold of one of the people at Los Alamos and was told very little about what the vehicle is used for. He was told the parts of it, but NOT what it does with a simple "I can't disclose that" answer.

Is this a radar vehicle, or is it a type of HERF (High Energy RF) beam generator - Maybe to warm an RFD to prevent (or hopefully not, enhance) tornado formation? I think it is the latter.

I also know that HERF wrecks havoc with electronics. It burns out components, even erases or de-activates credit cards and memory. Its intention is to disrupt electronics equipment in the first place. Now, if this is being used around a supercell, say from an aircraft or vehicle like the one I described, an inadvertant passage of the HERF beam to personnel on the ground can cause such issues with electronics! Hopefully, the beam will be too weak to affect human tissue as well.


The full forum post cah be seen below...
Actually, this is what I think will happen:

A weather modification system will be developed in the near future. But the main problem will be manning the vast number of mobile units and/or aircraft needed to deploy to risk areas. So, the Government will hire "alert squadrons" of experienced chasers to do the work and pay them very well. (Starting at $190k a year). They will train them to fly either A-10's or super-charged Hummers (complete with red lights and sirens).

You just wait and see. (;

Tinfoil hats...must pass out tinfoil hats...

The best way to stop damage from tornadoes, not to mention hurricanes, baseball and larger hail, etc. is to build structures that will with stand their forces rather than trying to control Mother Nature., which I believe is potentially risky.
We now have the technology to build homes that withstand F-5 tornadoes, and I would like to see these sprout up in any disaster prone area of any type, and especially replacing homes already destroyed by Natural Disaster.
These are the Monolithic Dome homes ( They cost about as much to build as a conventional box and roof home of the same size, and could be artistically constructed.
I believe that we need to begin to think in terms of structural stability as well as esthetics when building.
These domes are documented to have gone through hurricanes and tornadoes with no damage!
From what I said about before. The equivlant energy from greatly idealized calculations is about an energy output of little more than a whole nuclear reactor and a little less from the hoover dam. That is with an ability of 100% to converter electrical energy to thermal, which is laughable. Now I don't know about you but I don't think we're anywhere close to be able to move power generating plants like that around, and much less be able to get them in position in time where the energy would be effective. Plus a delivery system that would be effective but not huge either, and be able to convert that kind of energy. Then if you aim wrong you might enhance the thunderstorm with more energy!
First off........what is up with that "quote" from Craig Maire...about how he's going to be the next Tim Marshall, and everybody will be kissing his behind?? Did it tie in with this subject early on....or was it just a ridiculous statement from a fool?
Secondly....I've had a feeling in my gut for a long long time that in my lifetime I will see some method of either eliminating tornadoes or at the very least, mitigating the strength of tornadoes that a given supercell will produce. When I read Cris Collura's post about him running into some strange "chase" vehicle from Los Alamos, and how it was well as the secretive posturing by the men associated with it....I wasn't surprised. I think that a lot of this is going on.
Now, I've never been through the UON school of meteorology or any other universities that have strong wx. programs. If anybody reading this has, please enlighten me. Has the possibility of tornado elimination or mitigation been discussed, and what are the prevailing thoughts on this?
I have often wondered about what is the ULTIMATE reason for all this intense activity directed at learning about supercells and tornadoes. Is the ultimate "goal" simply to provide more warning time? My guess is that this is just a nice bonus that comes along through the pursuit of the ultimate goal. Too many mega well as manpower (ROTATE-VORTEX) etc. etc. are being thrown at the tornado questions to simply garner increased warning times (in my humble opinion only). So...if it's not about warning times....then what is it?? Can you imagine how many dollars there would be for the company that develops a safe method of eliminating / mitigating tornadoes? The insurance companies pay out billions of dollars each year as a result of tornado / storm damage. Do you not think that that industry isn't perhaps throwing money at certain researchers to study and research that?? I think it would be naive to assert otherwise.
With so many dollars on the line from so many potential sources....I don't think that increased warning times is what it's all about. Thanks for reading this long post. Joel