The authors draw from half a century of meteorological research to expose flaws in a recent proposal to build 300-m-tall tornado-prevention walls across the U.S. Great Plains. The idea behind the walls is that they would prevent cold and warm air masses from clashing and would therefore suppress tornadoes. The problem with this proposal, however, is that atmospheric fronts ("airmass clashes") are neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for tornadoes and that the proposed walls would not prevent the formation of fronts in the first place. Additional misconceptions about supercells thunderstorms and tornado formation also are identified.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics