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Heat Transfer Research
IF: 1.199 5-Year IF: 1.155 SJR: 0.267 SNIP: 0.503 CiteScore™: 1.4

ISSN Print: 1064-2285
ISSN Online: 2162-6561

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Heat Transfer Research

DOI: 10.1615/HeatTransRes.v37.i8.70
pages 731-752

Mechanisms Leading to Tornado Generation and Sustainment

Oleg A. Sinkevich
Science Technological Center of Associated Institute for High Temperature, Russian Academy of Science and Moscow Power Engineering Institute (Technical University), Russia


We are investigating the phenomena leading to the formation of vortex structures in the Earth atmosphere and, in particular, to the conditions under which whirlwinds (tornados) are initiated. Analysis has been performed of the mechanisms of whirl generation and of the models describing the phenomena taking place in a whirl and permitting numerical calculations of the two-phase flows in a developed whirlwind. We have obtained dimensionless criteria for the appearance of a vertical-axis whirl that arises by the loss of stability of ascending axially symmetric thermals when the dominant acting forces are inertia forces of the primary flow or electrohydrodynamic (EHD) effects. For the case where inertia forces dominate, the critical value of the parameter has been established on the basis of the data of observations of the state of the atmosphere prior to the moment a tornado is initiated. For the case where the influence of the EHD mechanism prevails, a theoretical estimate of the critical value of the generation criterion is given. The possibilities of artificial generation of tornado-like whirls and their control are briefly discussed. The possibilities of using artificial tornado-like whirls to localize fallouts resulting from accidents at ecologically dangerous objects and protect objects from destruction are analyzed.

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