by David Talbott
Mar 30, 2005
Credit: NOAA Photo
Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/NSSL
Because the Earth is a small charged body moving in a
large cell of
plasma, explanations of all physical phenomena in, on, and near the
Earth must take the electrical behavior of plasma into account.
Taking this larger picture into account will add new insights for
understanding details of everyday phenomena, such as the weather.
Meteorologists are not sure how tornadoes form but they do know that
they are often associated with severe electrical storms. The key to
understanding tornadoes is that they are the result of rapidly
rotating electric charge. Just as electrons are the current carriers
in the copper wires we use for power transmission, so they are in
the tornado. The BIG difference is that the electrons are moving at
many meters per second in the tornado while they take several hours
to move one meter in the copper wire! The result is that enormously
powerful electromagnetic forces are in control of the tornado. This
effect has been called a "charged sheath vortex."
The shape of the vortex is strongly constrained to be long and thin
with a circular cross-section. This true shape of the vortex is
usually hidden in tornadoes because of the obscuring dust and
clouds. The vortex itself will only be visible if it has sufficient
electrical energy to ionize atoms in the atmosphere. That is clearly
the case on the Sun. And some people who have survived the
experience of being "run over" by a tornado have reported
electrical glow in the inner wall of the tornado.
It is commonly thought that a tornado is a means for mechanical
energy in the storm to be converted somehow to electrical power,
which is then transmitted very effectively to ground by the
electrical conduit of the charged sheath vortex inside the tornado.
The "somehow" arises only because nobody visualizes
dimension of the solar system. Electrical power from space is
partially dissipated in the mechanical energy of the encircling
winds. Instead of generating the electrical effects, the tornadic
winds are driven by the charge sheath vortex and its connection to
the electric currents of the solar system.