I recently read an article that said that claimed

the stronger the tornado, the larger its area

and generally, I think this is accepted. Why?

The vorticity equation $$\frac{D\vec{\omega}}{Dt}=\vec{\omega}\cdot\nabla\vec{u}-\vec{\omega}(\nabla\cdot\vec{u})+\frac{1}{\rho^2}\nabla\rho\times\nabla P$$

describes that convergence (decreasing area, $\nabla\cdot\vec u<0$) leads to increasing vorticity. Does this mean that the strongest tornadoes don't have the greatest vorticity, or am I missing something?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are getting cause and effect reversed. The quoted portion of the article specifically says "the stronger the tornado, the larger its area". Cause and effect. You instead are asking why larger tornados are stronger. That's reversing cause and effect. $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Jun 7 '17 at 1:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.