4 votes

Can someone please explain what causes this kind of wind on a sunny day?

7 comments

  1. [5]
    BuckeyeSundae Link
    So a tornado happens when cold and warm air collide, right? Sometimes (though rare) those collisions of warm and cold air are not also combined with sharp enough changes in humidity to have storm...

    So a tornado happens when cold and warm air collide, right? Sometimes (though rare) those collisions of warm and cold air are not also combined with sharp enough changes in humidity to have storm clouds associated with them. Warm air rises while cold air sinks, so when they collide you'll have gusts of upward, warm wind and downward cold wind.

    This can be especially true in the hottest point of the day, and especially near bodies of water (which are normally cooler than a summertime spot of land). It generally has to be a really dry day for this sort of behavior to happen though, as the sharpness in temperature difference between the two pockets of air has to be large enough to cause a large movement of air when they collide.

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      PlatoLake Link Parent
      So this was a tornado?

      So this was a tornado?

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        BuckeyeSundae Link Parent
        I think there is another term for this type of event (that I don't remember because it's been ages since I took meteorology). Just as water spouts have to happen over water (and aren't tornados)....

        I think there is another term for this type of event (that I don't remember because it's been ages since I took meteorology). Just as water spouts have to happen over water (and aren't tornados). It's easiest to understand it as a type of tornado though.

        Edit: after google searching for some reminders, yes it could be a tornado. Tornadoes are normally visible from picking up dust and water condensation from the sharp changes in humidity. If you were to not have either of those features, it's pretty likely that you wouldn't be able to see it at all.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          cfabbro Link Parent
          Downburst, landspout, gustnado, whirlwinds, dust devil? I went down a Wikipedia rabbit hole and, from what I can tell, there doesn’t seem to be very clear diliniations between them all and the...

          Downburst, landspout, gustnado, whirlwinds, dust devil? I went down a Wikipedia rabbit hole and, from what I can tell, there doesn’t seem to be very clear diliniations between them all and the terms are a bit colloquial. So you can probably take your pick. :P

          4 votes
          1. BuckeyeSundae Link Parent
            @notseanlynch covered the potential for a downburst fairly well, with the main distinguishing feature there being that you don't see any twisting wind pattern that you're going to see with a...

            @notseanlynch covered the potential for a downburst fairly well, with the main distinguishing feature there being that you don't see any twisting wind pattern that you're going to see with a tornado-like event. The movement of those porta-johns alone makes me want to discount a downburst (as you can see them twisting around rather than moving in one clear direction).

            3 votes
  2. notseanlynch Link
    So I would guess it's something like a dry downburst (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downburst), which can result in wind gusts up to 150 MPH. But on the topic of wind events, there's also a super...

    So I would guess it's something like a dry downburst (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downburst), which can result in wind gusts up to 150 MPH. But on the topic of wind events, there's also a super interesting one called a Simoom (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simoom#In_North_America) that can result in insane temperature increases. Totally worth the (very quick) read.

    5 votes
  3. PlatoLake Link
    The wind gusts must have been upwards of 60mph to lift those porta-johns into the air like that. Can anyone explain the weather phenomenon that would cause something like this?

    The wind gusts must have been upwards of 60mph to lift those porta-johns into the air like that. Can anyone explain the weather phenomenon that would cause something like this?

    1 vote