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Iowa: Giant Atmospheric Waves Roll Across the Sky

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posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 11:58 PM
This is pretty awesome looking. A giant gravity wave rolls across the sky over Iowa.
There is a movie and an animated gif that shows it moving through the atmosphere.
Scientists believe that these waves actually amplify tornadoes. They also have a unique relationship with thunderstorms where storms can create waves and waves can create storms.


What's so important about all this?

"Undular bores may play a surprising role in severe weather," says Coleman.

"For one thing, we believe undular bores can amplify tornadoes." He cites as an example an F5 tornado that struck the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama, in April 1998. "At first the tornado was doing relatively little damage. But our research shows that, just before the tornado reached Birmingham, it was hit by an undular bore." The wave spun up the twister, increasing its intensity and size; the tornado went on to wreck more than 1000 homes and business totaling $200 million in damage. Tornado-wave interactions are the subject of Coleman's PhD dissertation, which he is completing now under the direction of University of Alabama-Huntsville professor Kevin Knupp.

"Furthermore," he says, "undular bores may be a source of thunderstorms." That's right, thunderstorms make undular bores and undular bores return the favor. "These waves churn up the atmosphere, causing instabilities that can initiate and sustain severe storms."

Heres the animated gif, I didnt think it would play in the post but it does
If not, here is the link to a time lapsed Quicktime Movie

Click for GIF animation (Large file!)

[edit on 10/13/2007 by Kr0n0s]

(Mod edit: I changed the inline GIF to a link for us poor souls who don't have DSL, because it's pretty huge. --Majic)

[edit on 10/13/2007 by Majic]

posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 12:11 AM
takes real long to load!

but still, pretty worth it! amazing to of been there! thats wild, all that in the span of 1 min over a course of 10+, awesome

And to think these amplify tornadoes?!?? I wonder how much more destructiveness can be added?!?

posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 12:48 AM
I'm not sure what this has to do with gravity waves, looks like an ordinary storm front pushing through.

posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 01:25 AM
reply to post by TheHorseChestnut

I dont know, read the article that I referenced in the post. If that doesnt help you understand a little more, then you can try a google search for more detailed articles, this one here is kind of short.
Im sure that these NASA scientists wouldnt mistake an ordinary passing storm front with what they are actually there to study.
Maybe you could email them and possibly educate them a bit

posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 11:25 AM
At first I thought you were referring to gravitational waves ( theory) not gravity waves (hydrodynamic fact), so now this is more plausible in my eyes. However, gravity waves and resulting undular bores usually occur high in the atmosphere where temp inversions are dramatic and pronounced. After further review, at the boundaries of cold and warm fronts this could also happen though rare in my opinion. This could well be the real deal.

So after my initial skeptical position I educated myself on atmospheric undular bores. I'm denying ignorance.

posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 11:34 AM
There use of gravity waves in the article explain gravity as the secondary force that sets up the wave. I think this is a bad name for the event, it should be based on primary force.

Most consider gravity waves to be created by sudden shifts in mass.

posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 03:00 PM
Perhaps the better term to use when describing them is "Atmospheric Waves"
I think that would probably cause less confusion as to exactly what they
are and what causes them.
I dont think they know to much about them yet, I dont think they are completely convinced that they can enhance severe weather yet, notice how they say "we BELIEVE undular bores can amplify tornadoes," instead of we KNOW.
I'm wondering if they are occurring more frequently than in the past and if so
does global warming have an indirect effect on them, like it has had on hurricanes?
I've been reading some weather articles that make the claim that although global warming may not have a direct effect on the number of hurricanes that form, it is causing them to become more severe..
We dont have to be reminded of the very powerful storms in 04 and 05, especially Wilma, which is being called the most powerful hurricane ever.
Also, most people dont realize but History was made this hurricane season because never before have TWO Category 5 Storms made landfall in a single season.

Hurricane Felix made landfall in Nicaragua around 7:45 a.m. Eastern Time as a Category 5 storm with top winds at 160 mph (260 km/h), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Coming just two weeks after Hurricane Dean hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Felix is the second Category 5 storm to hit Central America this year. It is the first time on record that two Category 5 storms have made landfall in a single hurricane season, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hurricane Dean was the third most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall.


[edit on 10/13/2007 by Kr0n0s]

posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 03:07 PM
Making Waves

I also thought "gravity waves" were more of a relativistic phenomenon than an atmospheric phenomenon, but apparently the expression is correct in a fluid dynamics context, whereas the term "gravitational waves" is more correct for discussing general relativity.

Wikipedia: Gravity wave

I learn something new everyday.

posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 07:18 PM
I love to watch the clouds here where I live before tornados. The afternoons can be amazing looking. Top clouds moving in the opposite direction of the lower ones closest to the ground. I promise the next time we have that kind of day Ill video for you KrOnOs. Also the whole atmosphere takes on a deep rich golden hue or actually yellowish orange. Some think it looks blueish???

posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 09:40 PM
Here is another "atmospheric wave" video on youtube but this one
looks a lot cooler than the last first one I posted..

posted on Oct, 14 2007 @ 08:40 AM
I watched the videos posted here.
It looks like 'ocean' waves from underwater.
There's so little we know isn't there ?
The more I thought about it tho' the more it seemed logical to me, as clouds are mostly warter anyway, wouldn't they behave like water would ?
To say I was slightly gob-smaked watching this stuff would be an understatement

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