Let’s take a look at an hurricane. It starts off as a complete system. Like an ouroborous it has no beginning or end. Fittingly it is a circle in both outline and in the four dimensions. But it can only occur in a special set of circumstances. The Bible likens those circumstances to a day of war. Meteorology describes it as Instability but I see it as a perfect moment in time.
Such a set up is easily destroyed by winds knocking it sideways, hence the “Instability”. Where does their stability come from?
In the regions where they exist, the air pressure at sea level, is the same in all directions, especially in still weather. When the air is calm no particular region can expand in any particular direction. But, depending how hot a particular region is, some places get warmer than others. And these do expand.
It’s the only place they can go, as warm air rises and at the same time loses pressure. (Because V1/T1 = V2/T2; Volume = Temperature over Pressure (=k but I can’t find the key, ‘K?) ((It’s more properly: Ω but simple is ideal.)))
The gradient between regions is slight, so the volume of the rising air is contained until it reaches vortex principles where the conditions run away with themselves. The sea is affected and begins to pump warm water in from wherever that comes from. And the system appears to run out of control.
Air hits a wall and its moisture condenses at height, the water falls out and would act as a brake on the system but it is caught in the maelstrom and sucked back into the system which by now is to a large extent adiabatic. Just like a Stirling engine. As the air rises, it rises further until it reaches the crown. Meanwhile at the bottom of the column the ability to rise becomes the ability to suck.
Eventually enough water will go out at the tropopause to drain the system provided the base can be persuaded to give up. Whilst nothing can ever (by definition) “spiral out of control”, as a rotating system the storm is a loose canon and moves off on an arc the way a gyroscope would if released. It is free to follow the stream of warm water that feeds it and so more water is added to the system from a potentially unending reservoir.
So long as the water supply continues, so does the storm. But as it isn’t a perfectly closed system, it does Work. It displaces water. Some is put back behind the system as colder sea surface and some is washed away into the sky.
From a post to uk.sci.weather:
> > > Am I correct in saying that it looks like clipping Newfoundland still as an hurricane?
+72 43.80 -57.40 10/19/00Z 80 – HURRICANE-1 +96 52.00 -37.50 10/20/00Z 50 – TROPICAL STORM It drops a gale force in 24 hours. Where do you suppose all that energy goes?
In about 3 days from the time of writing the storm hits a wall and loses the integrity shown by its adiabatic behaviour. In losing a near gale’s worth of power or energy, what happens to it?
What work is accomplished in order to put that much braking effect into effect?
It is well known that outside the tropics an hurricane becomes a different creature altogether. How and why it does this remains to be seen but we do know a substantial proportion of the storm energy goes into volcanic and or seismic activity. And of course it is more liable to wind-shear as the differences between day and night begin to establish themselves with latitude.
All through its life as a tropical storm, pressures have only slowly changed. Obviously they have always varied widely from top to bottom but pressure at sea level is always greater than pressure at the tropopause, whatever the weather. But its day to day changes have always been about incremental pressure and temperature changes. Even wind speeds seldom vary by more than one degree on the Beaufort scale. Something happens at the extra-tropical point to change the adiabatics involved.
Whatever is actually happening and whatever the real causes of these heat engines, the way that they leak gives us some idea about how to measure their potential and overall energy. And from their decline and the genesis or evolution into earthquakes or what have you, we can thus get a comparison for the true values of all geo-physical phenomena.
Hurricanes and typhoons are all about isothermal processes, adiabatic processes and the most efficient distribution of geo-physical laws such as the second law of thermodynamics. Not all the supplied heat in a system does “work”, the Carnot efficiency is this work value.
College life provides the fare for those without the time to stare
Their facts and figures rattle me; a man whose thoughts are as the trees
But I am a giant in what I’ve found, so when you’ve time to look around and wonder at the likes of me
Climb up and see what you can see.
Nothing is exactly what it seems:
For my next trick: Duality.