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Hypercanes

Paging Saul Trabal!

With the talk about End of the World in Bar & Grill I thought this is a good time to bring it up.

Hypercanes Following the Genesis Flood, Larry Vardiman
http://www.icr.org/pdf/research/HYPERCANES.pdf [PDF]

Basically the assumption is that some geological cataclysm locally raises the ocean temperature to 40C or so. The MM5 suggest develops tightly compact hurricanes, sort of like a giant tornado, and if I read it right, casting a continental-sized outflow plume that would cause rain over a large area.

I have some doubts about whether the MM5 is a viable model for this kind of thing (and whether convective feedback is a culprit). It is also in the fringe of pseudoscience. Still, it's a neat and imaginative exercise. There are more papers on this that can be Googled up.

Tim
 
Tim, This is a neat hypothetical exercise. I think it shows how increases oceanic SST (if heat content increases too) not only increases the max winds but also the size of the storm. Total power conversion increases of the hurricane must come from the size increase as well as the wind. I'd love to see a storm surge model on this one. There would be nothing left but sand probably for 50 miles inland. With 45 C water temps, there'd be nothing much alive in the Gulf to begin with.


I'm saddened, however, to see good science used to support a religious belief. They're attempting to fit the data to the conclusions. The conclusions are simply that the Earth is 6000 years old, as the Creationists argue. Now I see they're promoting hypercanes as a mechanism for quickly converting the Appalaichian mountains to their withered eroded state to support their idea. Nevermind that the Himalayans would've also been subjected to hypercanes.
 
Hypercane Structure

Good day everyone,

The "hypercane" theory is pretty intriguing, and I have read about these on several places and web sites. Here is what I think.

Basically, a "hypercane" is a hurricane where the normal exchange of heat energy has reached an exceptional equillibrium level in comparison to a "normal" hurricane. This is where there is a much higher heat content, therefore, winds peak at much higher speeds and lower pressures in the center are achieved.

It is theorized that a hypercane requires an SST of around 110 to 120 degrees F (or around 40 C). This may seem impossible, but it is not. Solar input can heat the earths oceans in parts of the tropics and cause SST's up to the low 90's F - Common in the Pacific and sometimes the Gulf of Mexico and Carribean. It is such SST's that produce normal hurricanes with winds that peak around 175 MPH in extreme cases.

If the ocean is somehow heated, by a large volcano, or even a meteor strike, and a temperature at the sea surface reaches 110 F or so, a hypercane can form over the warm "pool" if the right conditions are met. Like regular hurricanes, the air over the warm pool must be moist, have low vertical shear, etc also for a hypercane to develop.

The higher thermal and heat energy involved can cause such a storm to have windspeeds over 300 MPH (as high as 500 MPH has been theorized). Central pressures can be as low as 650 MB and eye warming can cause desert like dry and hot air inside an extremely small eye, only 1 or 2 miles wide. The eyewall will be tight around this small eye and extend to an altitude of about 20 miles up (compared to 10 for a normal hurricane, which also has a 25 mile wide eye on average).

Such a storm would probably have a single main and very narrow eyewall where nearly all the wind and updraft momentum is contained. Outside of that, the winds may quickly drop to tropical storm force say, 20 miles or so from the center.

A hypercane can be disrupted by vertical shear and dry air entrainment, since the "vortex" must remain over the warm pool of water to maintain itself. Also, a hypercane making landfall should rapidly weaken as its energy source is cut off and the storm encounters drag from the land (and those unlucky enough to be on that piece of land). If a hypercane moves off the warm pool and over cooler waters (80 - 90 degrees F), it may transform into a regular hurricane. If it moves into cold waters (below 80 F), it should weaken to a regular hurricane, and subsequently dissipate.

Such a storm, with 300-500 MPH winds would cause damage and storm surge at least FOUR times that of the strongest category 5 hurricane ever seen (such as Hurricane Wilma or Typhoon Tip) for those unlucky enough to be in its path. Winds of that speed, exceeding the power of a bonifide F5 tornado, will most likely scour buildings, trees, homes, roads, etc from the earth's surface leaving bare gound behind!

Chris C - KG4PJN
 
My first thought -- can you imagine the CAPE we could have if we have dewpoints around 100F ?! I guess it doesn't matter too much, since heat index vales would be well above 145F, making chasing (or being outside period) only impossible, as cars would overheat easily, etc.
 
Originally posted by Tim Vasquez
Paging Saul Trabal!

With the talk about End of the World in Bar & Grill I thought this is a good time to bring it up.

Hypercanes Following the Genesis Flood, Larry Vardiman
http://www.icr.org/pdf/research/HYPERCANES.pdf [PDF]

Basically the assumption is that some geological cataclysm locally raises the ocean temperature to 40C or so. The MM5 suggest develops tightly compact hurricanes, sort of like a giant tornado, and if I read it right, casting a continental-sized outflow plume that would cause rain over a large area.

I have some doubts about whether the MM5 is a viable model for this kind of thing (and whether convective feedback is a culprit). It is also in the fringe of pseudoscience. Still, it's a neat and imaginative exercise. There are more papers on this that can be Googled up.

Tim

[Lurch]Yeeeeeeeeeu raaaannng, Mr Adams?? [/Lurch]

And here I thought we were going to discuss hurricanes that sucked up WAAAAAY too much expresso.

:p

Wow, interesting stuff. Hypercane, eh? If you're talking about something in the 300-mph range, Jupiter's Great Red Spot would probably fit the bill. However, that storm is big enough to hold 3 Earth's. I'm not sure how much of it is convective.

The part of the paper that discusses huge anvils is also interesting. Do some reading on Saturn's Dragon Storm for that. This giant thunderstorm is half the size of the earth, and the reason it's called the Dragon Storm is due to the cirrus blow-off from the main thunderhead. Note that these winds are probably gusting anywhere from 600 to 1,000 mph, cuasing those cirrus clouds to be blown off at great distances.


[Spock] Faaaaaaaaasinating...[/Spock] 8)
 
One of the problems I have with this theory is that it seems to just extrapolate out the structure of a hurricane to make it stronger. What guarantees that the structure of a hypercane will be the same as that of a hurricane? Look at supercells and the different variations they can have. Classic, HP, LP. The models aren't really made for this type of prediction, basing anything off the results they turn up at the extremes is rather silly.

Also, why is it always played up as one massive storm? Whats preventing it from being a series of normal hurricanes that might be interfering with each other preventing the hypercane scenerio? Multiple cells are quite common with supercells, it seems to me that it might end up being common with hurricanes too.
 
I'd like to cut this fellow some slack, but how in the world would Noah and the other occupants of the ark survive such a storm? A storm of this magnitude would create an incredible surge, even great distances from the center. The turbulence of the water would be extreme, and I'm uncertain even the ark would be able to avoid capsizing.

The other issue is the extreme water temperatures required for such a super-storm. The incredible dewpoints that would be required for the formation of a hypercane would make life unbearable for those living in the ark (if they were able to avoid capsizing in the raging sea). Without air-conditioning (which I think we can safely assume they did not have), I think that it's quite likely that all of the occupants would have died of heat exhaustion.

I don't believe this discredits the Biblical account of the flood in any way, for a weak attempt to explain something does not invalidate the original account. Ultimately, this is mere speculation and has no real scientific value. That is not to say that science and religion are necessarily disparate, but to say that this particular attempt to explain the Flood falls woefully short.

Gabe
 
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