We know how tornadoes form: when areas of hot air and cold air mingle, causing rotation. We can even see them form on the radar.

Yet, for all of our technology, we can't stop such events from happening - even though we can cause it to rain by seeding clouds.

But if someone were at the area that a tornado was about to form and was able to introduce an area of super-heated or super-cooled air into the potential tornado, would it destabilize the formation of the destructive whirlwind? Or would doing such a thing cause more of them to form or for them to form more quickly and/ or be more damaging?


1 Answer 1


Changing air currents is very difficult and energy intensive. You'd need to alter an entire weather system - no easy feat. If you heated a very large region of cool air you might prevent the spiraling that causes tornadoes to form, but you'd need to warm at least few states worth of upper atmosphere. It would be an enormous undertaking.

There's also the logistical problem of how would you go about doing it? Heating in principal can be done faster than cooling, presumably sending up a whole lot of hydrogen in a few hundred balloons and igniting it forming hot water-vapor, which as it condenses, would further heat the atmosphere. Cooling warm air is harder as there's no quick and easy method to cool an enormous volume of air, so I think heating the high cold air would be easier than cooling the low moist air, but it would still be an enormous effort and probably cost more in prevention than the tornadoes are likely to do in total damage.


There's no neat and tidy technological trick to get it done that I can think of.


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