Streamlining and all that drag

When you try t describe something going really fast, it is difficult to do so without thinking of it going “WHEEEEeeeeeee….!” Remember the last time you hear a fast car or an aeroplane approaching Mach speed?


You may remember being caught out in a gale the same way. A high wind shrieks on contact with sand. It is an awesome, awful noise. But you don’t associate thunder with the same sort of thing. You may know that the currents and counter-currents in a thunder cell are going at one hell of a lick -but it isn’t the same thing. Not at all.

Yes when it’s updraughts shed water, they can do so so fast that the water turns to ice so suddenly that there is no time for the heat to escape, not even in super-cool systems like them. Actually it is because they are super fast and super-cool systems that the water produces electricity. No matter how fast the streams run, they have time to explode into electricity.

And those are the turbulent air-streams. A typhoon or hurricane is a laminar efficiency. They can reach speeds of 150 and more MPH. In fact we don’t know how fast such winds travel. Those category speeds only apply to the overall average. There is no way to measure updraughts in one of them.

How would you?

But now try and comprehend how much force is in them. To say it is unimaginable is massive English understatement on a scale that is off the scale. I mean it, it is just ridiculous. It can only be done on paper. Meaningless numbers worthy of Reynolds and Froud. Let me put it in perspective for you if I can.

Have you ever seen a weightlifter lifting something like 300 pounds or whatever?

The answer is NO!

The record for an Olympian athlete is: Here …and nobody has ever seen it done. The reason is that to lift a weight you have to accelerate it. You can do that slowly but the weight will slip out of your hands. You have to lift it quickly or your limbs will drain away to water. If they simplu lowered the weight into the athlete’s outrtetched hands, then they WWOULD be lifing the weigh given. But to snatch it up to chest height and then heave it over their heads requires acceleration that adds immense “mass” to the job.
Or if a small air-plane goes into a sudden curl and puts the pedal to the metal to gain lift, its weight doubles with what they call Gee. Modern super-fighters can pull 8 and more gee. So if it weighs 10 tons on the ground, the wings are supporting 80 or 90 tons in the air when it does that. Never mind the pilot blacking out. The engines should be blacking out too.When they started to reach 0.8 Mach in the 1940’s the fighter planes of the day were literally pulling their own wings off. The early aircraft to do that were capable of reaching high altitudes of 5 or 6 miles and the pilots although experienced enough to be granted access to such planes, would put the machine in a dive to see what they would do and promptly lose control.

Without knowing what was happening to the wings the controls would lock up with the “weight” of the air on them and the pilots would literally wrestle the wing loads right into the ground. A fight to the death. What they had to do was switch off the engines and wait for the craft to reach lower altitude. When it was down low enough the air pressure would force the plane to slow down and the pilot could then resume command.But who could be teaching such en what such men were discovering? It was all trial and error in those days. It is the same now with meteorology. Nobody knows what causes hurricanes to behave the ways that they do.

Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale
Category Wind speeds
Five ≥70 m/s, ≥137 knots
≥157 mph, ≥252 km/h
Four 58–70 m/s, 113–136 knots
130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h
Three 50–58 m/s, 96–112 knots
111–129 mph, 178–208 km/h
Two 43–49 m/s, 83–95 knots
96–110 mph, 154–177 km/h
One 33–42 m/s, 64–82 knots
74–95 mph, 119–153 km/h
Related classifications
18–32 m/s, 34–63 knots
39–73 mph, 63–118 km/h
≤17 m/s, ≤33 knots
≤38 mph, ≤62 km/h

A car cruising 50 mph may require 10 horsepower to overcome air drag but at 100 mph requires 80 hp.

With a doubling of speed the drag (force) quadruples per the formula.

Exerting four times the force over a fixed distance produces four times as much work. At twice the speed the work (resulting in displacement over a fixed distance) is done twice as fast. Since power is the rate of doing work, four times the work done in half the time requires eight times the power.

If you have ever seen a flock of birds flying close together as one unit. Imagine the pressure on them to keep apart. It is an insanely difficult choreography and they do it without a leader and with NO practice. And they are creatures capable of fear and thought.


Who organises the winds?

Lunar effects

The Saxby Gale affected the Bay of Fundy giving it the record tide in all history:


A 2-metre storm surge created by the storm which coincided with a perigean spring tide; the Bay of Fundy having one of the highest tidal ranges in the world. The Saxby Gale storm surge produced a water level which gave Burntcoat Head, Nova Scotia the honor of having highest tidal range ever recorded. It is also thought to have formed the long gravel beach that connects Partridge Island, Nova Scotia to the mainland.

From the Wikipedia:


Lieutenant Stephen Martin Saxby RN practiced Astro-Meteorology published in 1864
as the Saxby Weather system. It listed days when atmospheric disturbances would

First published in Nautical Magazine, a journal for the merchant marine hoping to get the
attention of the Government Meteorological Department. The Astronomer Royal told
Saxby to Drop his investigations. (I’ll bet that was George Airy. Yes! (What a dickhead that man was. He even looks like a bell end.))

A letter from Lt. Saxby concerning one particular forecast: