• Stormtrack's forum runs on Xenforo forum software, which will be undergoing a major update the evening of Wednesday, Feb 28th. The site may be down for a period while that update takes place.

Just a thought.....

I was just thinking about all the incredible tornado outbreaks that have been recorded in the last 50-100 years. If you think about it, weather has been around for a LOT longer than that, obviously. Our recorded tornado history is a drizzle drop in the bucket when compared to the length of time tornadoes have traversed the land. Just think of all the incredible tornado outbreaks that must have passed over the centuries. Man wouldn't it be so interesting to have all that information on where they happened, and how they evolved? The very spot you're sitting in right now could have been ground zero for an F5 tornado at some point in time during Earth's history. Just kind of cool to think about...

8)
 
I've thought of that before...and I kind of wonder what the Native Americans did when they saw a tornado (in the time before the Europeans settled in North America). I'm sure at least one of them actually chased a tornado (on foot or horseback)! It seems to me that throughout the ages, there has always been a block of people curious about the weather...and perhaps there were some crazy enough to actually go chasing! :p

Gabe
 
Originally posted by Gabe Garfield
I've thought of that before...and I kind of wonder what the Native Americans did when they saw a tornado (in the time before the Europeans settled in North America).

Gabe

I know it’s been said before, but I’ll go ahead and repeat it here: I wonder what tornados sounded like before locomotives?
 
This is very interesting to me...

I wonder what the LARGEST tornado outbreak was in the past ~5 billion years (Earth's estimated age)? It is likely that almost every location on Earth has been touched by a tornado, whether it was during the "Pangea" state of things or whether it was just recently. The "Super Outbreak" probably pales in comparison to some of the other tornado events which have occured in the distant past.

There is simply no way to estimate what kind of weather patterns were in place... In my mind, there could very well be phases of certain phenomenon, much like "NAO", but only mesaured in hundreds/thousands/millions of years. For all we know, global warming could be a very long range natural cycle...
 
Originally posted by rdewey
This is very interesting to me...

I wonder what the LARGEST tornado outbreak was in the past ~5 billion years (Earth's estimated age)? It is likely that almost every location on Earth has been touched by a tornado, whether it was during the \"Pangea\" state of things or whether it was just recently. The \"Super Outbreak\" probably pales in comparison to some of the other tornado events which have occured in the distant past.

Here's a question for ya all...

If you could modify any aspect of the Great Plains to enhance the formation and intensity of tornadic storms, what would you do? Now think of another parameter that could be optimized. Feel free to reposition and modify oceans, mountains, entire continents. Keep going until you have a clear image of "Tornado Central." What does that climate and landscape ("climatescape?") look like? I well imagine that something very similar has existed somewhere, sometime, in Earth's history. Does anyone care to guestimate how much more activity this idealized tornado maker would generate?

-Greg
 
This is very interesting to me...

I wonder what the LARGEST tornado outbreak was in the past ~5 billion years (Earth's estimated age)? It is likely that almost every location on Earth has been touched by a tornado, whether it was during the "Pangea" state of things or whether it was just recently. The "Super Outbreak" probably pales in comparison to some of the other tornado events which have occured in the distant past.

Here's a question for ya all...

If you could modify any aspect of the Great Plains to enhance the formation and intensity of tornadic storms, what would you do? Now think of another parameter that could be optimized. Feel free to reposition and modify oceans, mountains, entire continents. Keep going until you have a clear image of "Tornado Central." What does that climate and landscape ("climatescape?") look like? I well imagine that something very similar has existed somewhere, sometime, in Earth's history. Does anyone care to guestimate how much more activity this idealized tornado maker would generate?

-Greg

I would bring the Gulf of Mexico further north, covering areas just east of OK/KS, to provide better low level moisture pooling. Not that the area doesn't get good Td's, it would just be easier for those early system. Then again, maybe having the Gulf coming in that far would actually keep the SST down, since there would be more water to warm AND the northern sections would be subject to significant cooling, much like the Great Lakes. I could also see this situation leading to sea breeze boundaries moving in from the east and increasing localized SRH, but that's only if SFC winds are weak enough to allow that - High shear days typically don't provide for good land/sea breeze conditions. Another thing that would concern me with the Gulf being that far north would be too much low level moisture leading to low clouds and fog... I actually think the current plains setup in the United States is probably near perfect - The area isn't too far north as to be in mostly cold air, yet not so far south as to prevent strong SFC lows from developing, and then you have the dry desert air to the west and the moist inflow from the Gulf...

Here is my "design" (the regions colored in read are the areas where I think severe weather would be enhanced, and the hatched area would be the "best" area):

http://69.14.190.10/images/svr_map.gif
 
I've thought of that before...and I kind of wonder what the Native Americans did when they saw a tornado (in the time before the Europeans settled in North America).

Gabe

I know it’s been said before, but I’ll go ahead and repeat it here: I wonder what tornados sounded like before locomotives?

Sounded like a heard of buffalo stampeding.
Sounded like a heard of dinosaurs stampeding. :wink:
 
If you could modify any aspect of the Great Plains to enhance the formation and intensity of tornadic storms, what would you do? Now think of another parameter that could be optimized. Feel free to reposition and modify oceans, mountains, entire continents. Keep going until you have a clear image of "Tornado Central." What does that climate and landscape ("climatescape?") look like? I well imagine that something very similar has existed somewhere, sometime, in Earth's history. Does anyone care to guestimate how much more activity this idealized tornado maker would generate?

I think it's about as ideal as it gets right now. I think moisture return trajectories for the southern Plains would be a little better (especially from the late fall through early spring) if the Gulf of Mexico was moved further west towards Abilene and Del Rio - and I suppose violent tornadoes could be more frequent throughout the year in the central/southern Plains. But having a Gulf further west might also mean more HP storms further west, more jungle like forests and 100 ft tall pine trees further west, drylines losing their definiton further west, etc., etc....in other words factors that might make tornadoes even more favorable than they already are could end up making chasing harder than it already is.
 
This is very interesting to me...

The "Super Outbreak" probably pales in comparison to some of the other tornado events which have occured in the distant past.

quote]

This also makes you wonder...with all the huge unknown systems of the past...what could be looming in the future for us?
 
This is very interesting to me...

The "Super Outbreak" probably pales in comparison to some of the other tornado events which have occured in the distant past.

This also makes you wonder...with all the huge unknown systems of the past...what could be looming in the future for us?

Oh come on man! Didn't you learn anything from the Day After Tomorrow! :roll: :lol:

Actually, it does make you think, doesn't it! You gotta wonder what happened way back when! It would definately be interesting to see if the Super Outbreak pales in comparison to other outbreaks way in the past... OR if the Super Outbreak was that 1 in every 10,000 year event! Hard to say with such little data to go back on! Hopefully we can keep tabs on things long enough into the future to have questions like this more easily answered in several hundred/thousand years.
 
Gulf of Mexico??

Seems like I remember reading something somewhere about what the Midwest used to be before the Rocky Mountains got thrusted upwards to its present state. The entire Midwest used to be a large inland sea!! We have deposits of dinosaur bones scattered in the Midwest and some of them were water treading.

That's why I thought the picture diagram of the Gulf of Mexico reaching up into the Midwest looked so shocking familiar. We have rock formations (sandstone, shale, limestone) in Nebraska that had fossils from the Cretaceous Period.

Found an interesting web site that talked about sharks in Kansas! :shock:

http://www.oceansofkansas.com/

Found another web site that showed the entire North America continent split in two by two seaways!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretacous_Seaway

Thanks. LJK.
 
-Greg[/quote]

I would bring the Gulf of Mexico further north, covering areas just east of OK/KS, to provide better low level moisture pooling. Not that the area doesn't get good Td's, it would just be easier for those early system. Then again, maybe having the Gulf coming in that far would actually keep the SST down, since there would be more water to warm AND the northern sections would be subject to significant cooling, much like the Great Lakes. I could also see this situation leading to sea breeze boundaries moving in from the east and increasing localized SRH, but that's only if SFC winds are weak enough to allow that - High shear days typically don't provide for good land/sea breeze conditions. Another thing that would concern me with the Gulf being that far north would be too much low level moisture leading to low clouds and fog... I actually think the current plains setup in the United States is probably near perfect - The area isn't too far north as to be in mostly cold air, yet not so far south as to prevent strong SFC lows from developing, and then you have the dry desert air to the west and the moist inflow from the Gulf...

Here is my "design" (the regions colored in read are the areas where I think severe weather would be enhanced, and the hatched area would be the "best" area):

http://69.14.190.10/images/svr_map.gif[/quote]

I wouldn't go that far, but I would put a couple of large bays on the Gulf and a large lake in the Texas Panhandle. The biggest thing I would do is adjust the slope of the updraft of the Front Range of the Rockies to enhance compressional warming of air coming over the mountains. Might have an interesting effect on the drylines.

I'd also add more flat areas around Eastern Oklahoma.
 
Keep in mind that tornado alley hasn't been tornado alley for very long. The earth's climiate changes dramatically every few thousand years. Native chasers were out of luck during the ice age 10,000 years ago. Also egypt and much of what is now the Sahara used to be fertile and wet 3000 years ago, so I imagine North America was also quite different. Back then the areas that recieved favorable temps/dews were probably not in such a geographically ideal place for thunderstorms like the Plains are. The world is constantly changing, and so is the tornado activity. We may be at a peak that has never been seen before, but how long will it last? By the end of the century the climate will have probably noitceably shifted again.
 
Re: Robert's re-designed Gulf of Mexico, it might also have the double benefit of bringing land-falling hurricanes right into tornado alley. Now, if perhaps we could also make the gulf waters even more shallow than they are, resulting in higher water temperatures, and add a glacier to the central Canadian plains, reaching a state where the tornado season and hurricane season overlap for a couple months.....
 
Cool thread ... I would probably leave the Gulf where it is, as plenty of moisture advects plenty far to the north as it is (I mean, it goes all the way into the prairie provinces already for goodness sake) ... BUT, what I WOULD do if I could reshape the plains is actually extend a caprock-type formation all the way to the north through OK, KS, NE and the Dakotas to enhance orographic lifting as storm systems clear the rockies and hit the middle of the plains. The plateau would have to rise higher than the high plains but lower than the mountains, of course, but it would no doubt encourage all kinds of crazy lift everywhere ... we'd have some major updraft action if we could get it done ... I say we start hauling in the dirt now!
 
P.S. - there are still some native american legends around NW Missouri concerning tornadoes ... the small town my family is from (Tarkio) is location of a tribe of native americans (the name of the town comes from their tribe) ... they had a legend that since the land sat between two rivers that it was shielded from passing tornadoes ... so I'm sure there were at least a few who did see them from time to time. Maybe even lost a wigwam or two ...

By the way - what I really DO like about Robert's re-imagining of the Gulf map ... St. Joseph Missouri is now beachfront property and property value just went way up around here. I would give anything for a beach closeby.
 
Back
Top