Month: January 2019

Eye of the Storm – Part 4

Wind Map

The face of the Earth was shaped by three primary means: volcanic eruption, lightning, and wind. It occurred in primordial storms which significantly ionized the atmosphere, charged the ground like a battery, and discharged energy between them in the same way we see today: earthquakes, volcanoes and storms. Only these storms were beyond biblical. They occurred before Man arrived. These were the storms of creation, which shaped the face of the planet.

Because wind played the predominant role in laying and piling the sediments that most of us now live on, its effects are most visible to us. Once you start recognizing the characteristics of wind-formed topography, it becomes impossible to ignore.

To identify wind direction, look at mountains. Mountains (not volcanoes) are all essentially wind blown dunes. One side will be windward and one side will be leeward to the wind that formed them, and like a dune, reflects this in their shape. The leeward side is generally steep and slab sided, and the windward side dips at shallower slope.

Typical sand dune formation.

The windward side actually portrays the shape of the wind itself, as pressure waves undulate across movable sands and mold them. The interface between wind and sand is created by the motions of the wind.


If the wind reaches Mach speed, standing shock waves reflect from any protrusion in the wind’s path, causing a sharp crease in the wind direction. Distinct patterns form at this crease, where the wind direction changes abruptly. The reflected standing shock wave forms a fan-shaped interference pattern of compression and rarefaction. This pattern can  be found on most mountain forms, including cordillera mountain arcs, continental divides, lone inselbergs and ‘island in the sky’ basin and range mountain structures.


Dust laden supersonic winds deposit their heavy cargo where the crease in the wind forms. A tetrahedron-shaped zone of rarefaction (low pressure) develops at the root of the standing wave, called a “separation bubble”. Wind-born dust collects in this bubble as the wind deflects upward with the shock wave.


As material deposits in the separation bubble, it forms a new barrier to deflect the wind, which moves the standing shock reflection backwards, into the wind. The separation bubble migrates into the wind with the shock wave, causing new dust to overlay the old in layers that stack into the direction of the wind.

A protrusion in the wind changes the wind vector and angle of reflection, and forces the shock wave to grow backward into the jet stream. This deflection of the wind creates low pressure at the leading edge of the protrusion which deposits buttresses in the shape of the triangular wave-form.

The shock wave is a discontinuity in density, temperature and ionization. Remember, we are talking about a primordial storm where much of the atmosphere ionized. So, standing shock waves formed hot plasma sheets of electric current through the air. The separation bubble is not only a pressure sink, which collects heavy matter, it is also a current sink, being the lowest potential region connected to the high potential current in the reflected shock wave. It therefore draws current to bake, compress and fuse the deposited dust.

It creates a distinct pattern on the windward side. Dragon’s teeth – triangular buttresses, sometimes called flat-irons, formed by the sonic, ionized shock waves of supersonic winds. They rise and fall in amplitude and wavelength, and display harmonic frequency shifts, as well as many, many other features which could only be produced by the sonic effects of supersonic winds – see the “Arc Blast” and “Monocline” articles for more detail.

SAM_0380Asian 3airan6aexpfaniran4

The behavior of shock waves, in particular the triangular shock patterns of compression and rarefaction they produce, is embossed on the land. It is also recorded in many ancient human artifacts, as we’ll discuss another time.

The Mexican Kink

Understanding how winds form these shock patterns, and examining the result on the landscape reveals a wealth of information. Let’s consider this very simple dune, called El Guaje, in the Sierra Oriental mountains of central Mexico. The shock pattern of triangular buttresses is very apparent on it’s windward side.

A pressure ridge in Mexico formed by supersonic winds.

The next annotated image of El Guaje highlights four consecutively formed pressure ridges that are visible. The first (green) is almost buried by later deposition and only the tops of it’s buttresses are exposed. The second (yellow) is a minor ridge caused by a period of weaker winds. It is also partially buried by the third, and largest ridge (red).

guapo_LI (7)
Four pressure ridges can be seen. Wind flow denoted by blue arrows, dark blue denotes supersonic speed.

Large triangular buttresses at one end of the large (red) ridge shrink in amplitude with geometric progression until they almost vanish, indicating the jet-stream velocity transitioned from supersonic to near subsonic velocity along the wind-front of this dune. The faster jet-stream region advanced the growth of the dune, depositing material faster and pushing the shock-wave into the wind. It advanced the ridge line into the wind (violet) and built this portion of the mountain thicker, taller, with large amplitude reflected shocks forming bigger buttresses.

Each layer of the buttresses is formed by a new shock front from winds impinging on the last layer. New shock fronts formed as the winds gusted, piling new layers on the old. A final diminishing wind created a fourth shock front which deposited a small pressure ridge (purple) along the foot of the mountain. The highlights obscure natural features, so please contrast all annotated images with the first, naked image.

The winds that created these ridges were like any storm, just quite a bit more violent. They stiffened as the storm grew, reached a crescendo with electrically charged, gusting blasts at Mach speeds, and then ebbed away. Their formation precludes any notion that the winds that created them were caused by meteor or comet. A large impact might produce supersonic, dust laden winds, but they would crest with the first shock wave and then dissipate, not slowly build to a crescendo.

Take a look at the surroundings of El Guaje ridge, and it becomes even more apparent how it was made. It is part of a larger structure – an oblong crater, two hundred feet deeper in the center than outside the rim. The pressure ridges, including El Guaje, form the rim of the crater.


It wasn’t made by an oblong meteor. This is the result of a down-burst wind. The pressure ridges are the rims of the crater, with triangular buttresses showing the wind direction as it blasted the Earth, and blew out radially, depositing dust along the standing shock waves it created. The outward blast is interfered at the top end by two, round mountains formed by lightning discharge (or intense plasma filaments) which altered the wind flow around them.

guapo3_LI (2)

Taking another step back reveals this entire mountain region in Mexico is shaped by a turbulent shear zone in the wind that was feeding the big storm over the Colorado Plateau. These mountains were formed by the uni-polar winds, screaming from the south, and mixing into plasma storms along the shear zone with opposite polarity uni-polar winds screaming the other direction. It is eerily similar to the turbulent shear zones adjacent to the Great Red Spot, creating kinked circulations that have a crab-claw shape.

Craters formed by downdraft winds in a turbulent flow region in Mexico. El Guaje is at the very top of the frame, just right of center.
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Crab-claw shapes of up-and-down turbulence near the GRS.
Crab-claw shape of downdraft craters in Sierra Oriental, Mexico

Turbulent winds fold back and forth to make these kinks, but they also fold up and down and twist into tornadoes, blowing and sucking at the land. In turbulent zones, the downdrafts form cyclones that are often stretched out-of-round into oval, polygonal and U-shaped structures. The winds are electric currents, so these turbulent kinks are semi-steady-state and keep their form for a long time, molding the land.

Downdraft turbulence also means updraft turbulence. So next to downdraft craters in Mexico are mountains formed by updrafts. Updraft wind will create a dome or ridge of layered deposit with a rim around it also, but the inflow to the updraft leaves triangular buttresses from shock waves on the outside of the mountain, pointing inward.

Linear ridges formed by updraft winds.

The updrafts deposit linear and lobe shaped mountains around and between the downdraft craters. The turbulence is in a shear zone, so deposits occur in narrow lanes between conflicting winds. Updraft deposits are composed of more material than craters and have the triangular patterns of shock wave reflections on the flanks.


As it relates to clouds on Jupiter, a long, rising column like the one highlighted below would create such linear mountains. One can see the dark depths of the hole in the clouds from which the updraft column rises. The winds roll upward from the ground and curl over, leaving a broom-swept linear ridge on the land below.updraft_LI

The roiling updraft, flanked by downdraft cyclones (black regions) creates an “S” shaped fractal form, and raises a narrow mountain beneath it.

And of course the juxtaposition of the updraft and downdraft features must also be considered.

jupiter-great-red-spot_LI (5)Mexkink6_LI

Also, the turbulent kinks in an electric circuit are fractal, so taking another step back reveals the fractal crab-claw shape emerging at a larger scale. The smaller feature with the crater shown above is nested within this larger repetition of the wind pattern shown next, aligned along the same axis. Nested fractals are very evident in Jupiter’s clouds as well.

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Shear zone turbulence between conflicting, ionic winds.

The similarity between Mexico’s mountains and Jupiter’s clouds is due to capacitance in the planetary circuits. The strongest winds are rotating vertical winds created by the flow of electric currents. A few more examples using land forms from around the world should demonstrate this isn’t a freak local geology.

Following is a random sample taken from the southern leg of storm centers that molded South America, Australia, Africa and Eurasia. The winds pushed and pulled on the land with electric force, literally molding it from wind action above and volcanic action below.

The fluid shapes are a dead giveaway for atmospheric electro-hydro-dynamic forces. But deeper levels of evidence are there, in Mach speed sonic shock effects, arcing effects and sputtering effects that provide a holistic electric picture of everything that happened. Look close at the following images and note patterns of stratification and liquid deformation evident from waves of heat and pressure.


Turbulent winds lifting off the land, arcing across the sky, and returning in downdrafts were plasma currents – filaments of current  that varied in charge density in cross section. Take note how a tornado’s wind speed and density varies in cross section, with the outer wall of the tube being the fastest, most dusty region, and the inner core often a clear updraft. The plasma filaments of primordial storms varied in dust content, charge density, and velocity in cross-section, as well.

Outer and inner walls of a tornado on display.

The result is stratification of mineral deposits vertically, where rock morphology and mineral composition discretely change from the core of the feature, to the walls of the feature and then to the outer surroundings.

The following images show where the storm pulsed and ebbed with current, stratifying layers of dust with different dielectric composition from inside-out, where vertical up-and-down draft winds created domes and craters.



Layers of varying mineral composition are particularly evident where winds abruptly changed direction, from horizontal to vertical at the rim of craters and the buttressed flanks of mountains. There, charge densities in the shock waves and the effects of magnetic pinch were greatest.

Shock formed buttresses in Peru display mineral layering from winds of different composition.
Similar layering is evident in Utah.

The stratification of species within the electric winds of Jupiter matches the pattern of stratification in land forms. Each up and down-draft swirl in the clouds is layered in colors of various mixtures of vapors and dust. They are coherently layered from the inside-out of each turbulent kink, or vortex, unmixed by the turbulence, in accordance with charge densities in currents primarily moving up and down.

Colored patterns don’t mix, but remain stratified in layers according to charge densities and magnetic fields primarily around up and down draft winds. Note color changes define the center, edges and surroundings of vertical turbulence, which is the result of current flows.

That electromagnetic fields sort species and recombine them is predicted behavior in plasma. We use a multitude of techniques in manufacturing based on this fact. But the electrical properties of materials is not well understood. There are new findings every day about quantum fluids, superconductivity and how materials behave in phase changes. There are new material properties being discovered, like “quantum atmosphere”, the “fourth phase of water” and materials that are surface conductive, yet insulators inside. The new discoveries all have to do with electricity.

Eighty percent of Earth’s surface rock is silica. Almost any rock you pick up is mostly silica, bound with oxygen and other constituents. Each constituent, how it is bound, it’s percentage in the rock and local concentrations, even how large the rock is, all effect the electrical properties. Silica, oxygen, trace minerals: it’s the formula we use to produce computer chips, and the Earth’s crust is essentially made the same way.

Different materials respond to magnetic fields differently. The electric field responds to charge density, so shapes itself around conductive flows of material, and vice-versa. The result is stratification, and it’s apparent the stratification on Earth’s landscapes is a match for the stratification in Jupiter’s winds.


Some mountains do not conform to the wind-blown dune shape, exhibiting triangular buttresses on both flanks of the mountain, or not conforming to the windward/leeward angle of slope. This does not mean they are not dunes, but indicates they were formed subject to shifting, or competing winds.

In some cases, mountains formed as sastrugi, or linear deposits in the shear zone between laminated channels of wind of different velocity. In most cases, it is easy to distinguish the predominate ambient wind direction from the mountain flank with the most pronounced triangular buttresses, and of course, the obvious curve on the landscape.

Sastrugi form parallel to wind flow, in shear zones between different speed winds, especially where turbulent winds laminate in a “bend” – Sierra Oriental, Mexico

So, it is possible by looking at the land to deduce wind patterns. Following this method, the next image shows the Colorado Plateau region with a significant number of wind formed pressure ridges annotated by blue lines. These are pressure ridges formed perpendicular to the wind. Each line is drawn parallel to the pressure ridge, and perpendicular hash marks indicate wind direction, pointing to where triangular buttresses formed. Red lines indicate sastrugi, or pressure ridges formed parallel to the wind, at the shear zone between conflicting winds.


Not every ridge line is annotated, and there is great complexity in the detail. A significant sampling of wind formed dunes in the most affected regions is presented to show large scale wind patterns generated by the storms.

These wind-blown pressure ridges show the direction of ground level winds entering and circulating in a complex fractal multi-vortex. This provides one layer of dimension to the storm. To add another layer, we can look at the signatures of updraft and downdraft winds. I’ve rotated North America 90 degrees for better perspective.

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Red areas are updrafts, yellow are downdrafts, blue are precipitation footprints. There are more than can be shown without making an indecipherable collage of color, because storm(s) progressed over time and there are layers upon layers. This is a best estimate of the last layer.

Mapping the most obvious downdraft craters and updraft domes and adding this layer of information to the pressure ridges, produces a wind map of the Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains that looks like this:

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Two jet streams flowed from the north. One rose into a tight plasma meso-cyclone forming Sacajewea Peak, which downdrafts through the Snake River Valley, arcing east towards Yellowstone. Yellowstone itself was erupting, creating it’s own rising meso-cyclone. Downdraft from this storm made a dish-like crater next to it. These storms rained rock, and ash from a multitude of volcanic eruptions – from all along the ring of fire, and Yellowstone.

The other northern jet stream swept into the largest meso-cyclone in the system, rippling the great basin with rows of windblown dunes. An “S” shaped range of mountains in central Nevada defines the center of rotation, as this meso-cyclone scraped the ground as one incredible tornado. It down-drafted in two streams. One pressing down the Uinta Valley, Utah; the other sweeping northern Arizona, and depositing much of the Mogollon Rim.

The Northern jet streams were wet, and carried a tsunami of water which will be discussed in future articles. Much of this water rained from the second jet stream, as it rotated in the giant Great Basin tornado, leaving salt lakes between the rows of mountain range that, except for the Great Salt Lake, are now mostly dry.

The Great Basin tornado also spun air south, bypassing the rotation to help define the Sierra Mountain arc, and scour deep valleys between tall linear ranges, forming Owens, Amorgosa, Saline and Death Valley. The Sierras formed by winds from the west (not shown) which pressed against the Great Basin rotation, and the winds bypassing south.

From the south, winds collected and then split, forming the Mexican Kink, and the El Guaje mountain. They reformed in a ground hugging laminar flow near Four Corners, sweeping across Colorado, Utah and northern Arizona, laying down the foundations of the Colorado Plateau.

The main attractors for this wind were two coronal loops, one rising into a meso-cyclone at San Rafael Reef, and down-drafting into a mirror image crater defined by Capitol Reef, in Utah. The other rising at Monument Valley, it’s shock wave defined by Comb Ridge, Arizona, and down-drafting due south to rejoin the general counter-clockwise rotation over the Plateau in the region bordered by the San Juan River.

Winds from the south also circulated eastward over the Great Plains, to be sucked into the Colorado Plateau cyclone through a row of coronal loops that built the eastern face of the Rockies. These down-drafted into tight cyclones, forming huge craters in the mountains, like San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Each of these features – the large Great Basin meso-cyclone, the tightly wound cyclone over the Colorado Plateau, and the arching colonnades of coronal loops within the bigger cyclone, which feed it, like thunderstorms feed a hurricane. It’s all the same damn thing.


So this completes the view of winds at the very eye of the storm. The Monument Valley and San Rafael Swell coronal loop storms caused the largest potential difference and hottest plasma torching in North America. Surrounding areas were also ravaged by storm, but none so severely. In fact the whole Earth was wrapped in storms. So, we’ll look closer at some of those regions, as well as more details on North America in the next installment of Eye of the Storm.


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Eye of the Storm – Part 3

Some storms suck and others blow…

On Earth, hurricanes and typhoons are called cyclones and occur over the oceans.  The cyclonic storm develops an eye in the center of rotation, where high altitude, dry air is drawn down the center. The thing to know is that the eye of a cyclone is a downdraft wind.

The center of a cyclone is a downdraft

Over land, we see a different effect. Super-cell thunderstorms develop a rotating meso-cyclone that rises in a tower that spreads an anvil cloud. The thing to know is that the center of a thunderstorm is an updraft wind.

Thunderstorms’ central meso-cyclone is a rotating updraft.

If you look at these different storms from above, the cyclone blows at the ground, and the thunderstorm sucks at the ground. The pattern of wind in each type of storm is due to capacitance in the electrical circuitry of the Earth.

The thunderstorm as a circuit…

The electric winds of a thunderstorm can be likened to a rope. Generally,  the rope winds up the towering meso-cyclone to a cap, the anvil cloud, and unwinds from there to non-rotating channels of rain flanked by downdraft winds.

The mature storm forms a circuit – a current loop from ground through the meso-cyclone and back to ground – as rain.

The very pattern of a super-cell betrays it’s identity: It is a stack of dielectric layers through which a current flows. Condensing, and then freezing moisture in the updraft sheds ionized matter into cold plasma currents that produce rain, lightning and tornadoes.

A massive, cold plasma halo in the sky acts like a live electrode hanging over the ground, with an air gap between. The updraft current is from ions swept from ground level. It loops through a negative plasma low in the cloud where condensation occurs, and continues to a positive plasma in the anvil, where ice forms. At each level, the recombined matter – the rain and ice – are shed and return to ground. Flanking down-draft winds are excess currents of uni-polar wind that complete the storm’s looping circuit to ground.

Three Dimensional Jet Streams

Charge densities are responsible for the geometry of storms. As negative charge builds in the bottom wet layers of cloud it strengthens the local electric field and draws winds to it. Above, in the cold icy layers at high altitude, a positive layer of charge accumulates to balance the charge below, and it spreads out in a huge disc.

Thunderstorms central core sucks wind up and diffuses laterally in an anvil cloud.

Likewise, on the ground below the cloud, positive charge accumulates to balance the cloud charge and feed the central updraft. Lightning arcs contribute to balancing the charged layers, dissipating charge at points of highest potential.

But the build-up of charge density around the core of the storm also means there is a secondary vector in the electric field running horizontally through the cloud layers. As ionic matter is drawn to the storm by updraft and concentrated, it depletes charge from the far field region of atmospheric layers, creating local electric fields which draw current horizontally, transverse to the electric field at the core of the storm.

Charge diffuses horizontally, as well as vertically, and the visual evidence is in the symmetry and coherence of the tightly wound meso-cyclone. The base of the storm which draws charge to it – and the spreading anvil cloud which disperses charge away.

Consensus science says the green glow of a meso-cyclone is light reflecting from water in the clouds. Yet the rain curtain, which is water, doesn’t glow green at all. In fact rain clouds that aren’t in a meso-cyclone don’t glow green either, though they are saturated with water too. The green glow is coronal discharge.

Everything about thunderstorm morphology speaks to layers of capacitance in a point-to-plane circuit that loops through an air gap to ground.

Consensus science has attributed the electrical charge build-up in thunderstorms to “static” charge from colliding rain and ice. One flaw in this idea is: there is nothing static anywhere, at anytime, in any place in a thunderstorm. Everything moves – and that means charge, too. And that means one undeniable thing: electric current. To not model a thunderstorm as such flies in the face of reason.

Fractal Progression

In a hurricane the airflow is very different from a thunderstorm. Consider the wind-flow again as a piece of rope: the rope enters whole down the central vortex, and unwinds into several threads of vertical up-and-down drafts flowing radially away from the storm’s eye in rotating currents.


It’s almost the inverse of a thunderstorm, which has a rotating updraft that unwinds into threads of non-rotating downdrafts and rain.

The cyclone’s rotating updraft bands are made of thunderstorms, which electrically, suggests the entire cyclone is a next-level fractal expression of the thunderstorm, in which the independent loops of thunderstorms’ maintain their form, but have organized together creating loops within loops, and vortexes within vortexes – fractal repetition of form.

In fact, thunderstorm cells interact as looped currents all the time, even when not part of a larger cyclonic system. One storm cell can arch it’s anvil cloud over another, and suck the life out of it by absorbing its energy. One can witness this as squall lines of thunderstorms develop.

Comparing the characteristics of thunderstorms and hurricanes (northern hemisphere) shows the similarities and polar opposite characteristics that naturally develop in this fractal progression:

Attribute Thunderstorm Hurricane
Surface Condition Over land Over ocean
Central Core Wind Wet, hot, rotating updraft of condensation Dry, cold, non-condensing, non-rotating downdraft
Outer Winds Non-rotating, dry downdraft winds flanking a rain curtain Circumferential rotating wet updraft winds and rain bands
Rotation Counter-clockwise central updraft meso-cyclone, wall clouds and tornadoes rotate in the core of the storm Counter-clockwise, outer winds and rain bands rotate around the central downdraft core of the storm
Discharge modes Vertical winds, lightning and tornadoes Rotating wind. Cyclones produce very little lightning and comparatively weak tornadoes.

In a hurricane, thunderstorms organize like synchronized swimmers swimming in a circle, creating a whirlpool down-draft in the center. The organized entity has more power than a meso-cyclone, but it’s diffused over a greater area and creates less tension in the electric field.

Vertical winds of thunderstorms in the rotating bands dominate the structure of a cyclone.

Super-cell thunderstorms are small in comparison to cyclones, but create a higher electrical tension that produces far more lightning and powerful tornadoes.

One reason a cyclone is different from a meso-cyclone is that cyclones form over water. The electrode spot on a featureless, homogeneous surface of ocean diffuses charge broadly and evenly. On land, there are mountains, mineral and water deposits that ‘focus’ the electric field, by providing greater conductivity, or increasing charge density at elevations.


A similar relationship exists between thunderstorms in mountain regions and the super-cells on the plains that produce horrendous tornadoes. Mountainous regions rarely produce tornadoes because high points and mineral deposits collect charge, increasing the electric field tension to draw arcs of lightning. The diffusion of ground charge on flat plains allows discharge between ground and cloud to spread out, which favors spinning Marklund plasma currents instead of intense bolts of lightning. The tornado is a more diffused, slower, less intense discharge than a lightning bolt, but still a fractal element of discharge within the thunderstorm.

The cyclone is a fractal step-up in scale from the meso-cyclone. It isn’t just a bigger thunderstorm, it’s a whole new entity composed of the old entities, re-organized into a higher level of complexity. It’s like striking one octave above a note and finding harmony – two notes in resonance that create a new sound, more complex than the sum of each note.

The cyclone is the next level of storm complexity, where the thunderstorm cells act in harmony and begin to share lanes of updraft and downdraft winds, manifolding together and developing a coherent rotation. Ultimately this forms an eye with a downdraft in the center, and a cyclone is born.

But a cyclone is not the most powerful level of fractal progression for storms on Earth. The next fractal level of plasma form is when a cyclone and meso-cyclone organize. This creates the most destructive storms of all, at least that we see today.

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A “Perfect Storm”

In our historic period we don’t see storms that exceed the level of the so called, “Perfect Storm”. Like the famous book of that name, which described the last voyage of a fishing boat caught between such storms, where a hurricane and nor’easter met.

When meso-cyclone and cyclone come together, they produce a loop current. It’s fractal progression of the thunderstorm current — updraft to downdraft and rain. Only one big meso-cyclone connected to a cyclone makes one big current. Outflow at ground level from the cyclone feeds the meso-cyclone, and discharge from the high level anvil feeds the cyclone’s eye. Coherency emerges from plasma actions expressed at every level of the storm in greater and greater complexity.

In our present climate on Earth, “The Perfect Storm” is as bad as it gets. But we are only seeing an echo of the drama of primordial storms. Even though we see lightning and devastating three hundred mile-per-hour winds – violent enough to destroy our matchstick homes – it does not scour us with supersonic winds, hot plasma tornadoes and electric arcs that shape mountain ranges.

But it did, at some point long ago. Updraft winds of meso-cyclones and downdraft eyes of cyclones became supersonic jet-streams. An energized geomagnetic field amplified the magnetic flux in coronal loops generating co-rotating storms that sucked and blew at the land, leaving vast craters and domes. The ring currents multiplied, too, generating smaller harmonic repetitions – more intense fractal repetitions that produced hot, probably glowing plasma tornadoes and incredibly huge arcs, large enough to boil a mountain from the earth.

As fractal evolution progresses with the application of a larger electric field, thunderstorm cells multiply and their downdrafts grow to cyclones, until multi-vortex systems spin within multi-vortex systems, which are within a multi-vortex system. Nested fractal repetition of form.

We sense winds as horizontal. We describe them that way: nor’easter, westerly, windward and leeward. We rarely think of vertical winds unless we are right under them, and then it is considered an unusual and often catastrophic event. Down-bursts, tornadoes and related vertical effects; lightning and storm surge, are the most destructive elements of storms. Vertical winds impact smaller regions, but are far more violent than horizontal winds.

In primordial storms, vertical winds literally blow-torched the land, and sucked at it like a vacuum hose. We can see this in the geology.


The Solar Example

Strip away the hydro-dynamics of a dense atmosphere, fully ionize the environment to see the raw electric currents in a hot plasma, and it’s like an x-ray view of a storm.

Sunspots are Solar Hurricanes

Sunspots are Solar hurricanes. The central core is a downdraft wind diving beneath the chromosphere. The filaments radiating from the core are coronal loops, attached at one end to the core, and the other to plasma “thunderstorms” – the updraft leg of the loop, which are positioned in a circumferential ring around the core, feeding it filaments of current.

Coronal loops are current discharges along magnetic field lines feeding the core downdraft of a sunspot. The loops are currents trying to break through the Solar atmosphere. When they do break through, it becomes a Solar flare.

Capacitors are used in electronics and power supply systems to control current flow. They are composed of two conductive plates facing each other with a gap between. The gap is filled with a dielectric material that resists current flow. In its intended operation, current does not pass through the dielectric. Current results from charge build-up and discharge from the plates on either side of the gap.


The hows and whys of a working capacitor are fascinating, but what we are interested in for this discussion is how a capacitor fails. A capacitor fails when current actually flows through the dielectric. It’s termed dielectric breakdown, and occurs when the voltage applied to the capacitor exceeds it’s capacity to store charge on the plates. The dielectric fails to resist the electric field across it and it sparks. That is what we see when lightning strikes – the dielectric breakdown of the layer of air between a cloud and ground. An ionized channel develops in the dielectric and the built-up charge on the plates suddenly dumps through the channel.

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Coronal loops form as current tries to break through the Solar atmosphere.

We see the discharge as almost instantaneous, but in reality there is a prior period when the dielectric absorbs charge and builds the ionized channel. Charge has to diffuse through the dielectric before the channel forms and connects the plates. The diffusion of charge through a spherical capacitor, like the Sun’s atmosphere, creates current loops within the dielectric. As charge is absorbed by the dielectric, it forms currents that loop from one plate into the dielectric, and back to the same plate, because they have no path yet to reach the other plate.

As voltage increases, the loops grow (absorption) extending the ionized path further and further, until it breaks through the atmosphere and discharge occurs.

Solar flares occur when the current breaks through.

In storms on Earth, the same looping current flows are in the form of weak plasma winds because the atmosphere is only partially ionized. Cold plasma is mixed with neutral species, so thermo-electric and hydro-dynamic effects come into play, raising complexity, but the underlying electric circuit is the same.



On Jupiter, the same electrical process can be seen occurring, and current loops, or coronal loops can be identified in the Great Red Spot. They appear as Roman colonnades of arches in the cloud, which rise in towering pillars, arch across the sky, and downdraft into the eye of doughnut-shaped cyclones.

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Unadulterated view of the The Great Red Spot.


The arching clouds portray the current loops in a multi-vortex coronal storm. They march around the inner rotation the way thunderstorms circulate the eye of a hurricane. Each doughnut-shaped cloud at the base of an arch is a cyclone of giant proportion with a downdraft through its core. The other end of the arch is the towering updraft of a thunderstorm, and the filament that arches between is the anvil cloud following current flow along a loop connected to a dielectric surface below. They are the tops of vertical ring currents – coronal loops – that are so intense they sculpt the anvil clouds in the shape of the current flow.

NASA can detect these jet stream winds. They are aware of the complex patterns and the violent up and down drafts in the Great Red Spot. Unfortunately, they don’t understand electricity, and so are scratching their heads over the obvious.

The colorized NASA images shows two rows of updraft/downdraft loops riding along the outer circulation of the red region. The entire red region is the giant hurricane with concentric rings of thunderstorms. At the bottom of the red region, the pattern of a double row of arching clouds continues, but the arches are stretched by the rotation of the entire system.

Above the red region is a white shelf cloud that itself has a single, large, counter-clockwise rotation. This is the anvil cloud of a singular giant thunderstorm, and together with the giant cyclone, form one ultra-large “perfect’ storm”.

On Earth, at ground level, these kind of looping currents of cyclone/mesocyclone produced supersonic  updraft and downdraft winds that created domes and craters on the land. The jet-stream winds rode up and down these current loops like a yarn crocheted, up and down, through and around, but always folding into an ambient rotation counter-clockwise.

So, with this in mind, in the next installment of Eye of the Storm, we’ll look at a wind map of North America, and see the evidence of Earth’s electric winds.

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