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Prevent or Weaken Tornados by Magnetically Coupling Air Streams to the Earth's Magnetic Field
Okay, so this is a long shot...
The basic idea is to ionize part of the offending air stream so that, as it flows perpendicular to the earth's magnetic field, its path will be bent by it. The presence of any interaction at all between the earth and ions in the air stream means that they are mechanically
coupled to each other. It would be best to apply this method to the "rotations" which cause them (or are they merely indicators?).
One major appeal of this approach is the possibility of getting an effect which is many times greater than the expended energy could produce directly. It has an effect analogous to shorting out the leads from a spinning generator: the generator quickly grinds to a halt as its kinetic energy is transferred to the windings. In other words, one gets a very high amplification factor. You can demonstrate this effect by spinning a permanent-magnet motor both with, and without the leads shorted.
To maximize the effect, one could try ionizing the air in various geometric patterns of polarity and density (vertical or horizontal stripes, checks, ...). Also, only ionize air where it starts circling around to an East to West or West to East direction, since any imposed pattern of ionization would tend to begin distorting immediately after it was applied.
Unfortunately, I have no idea whether the effect of this method could even theoretically be made strong enough to be helpful. A few simple, scaled-down experiments should show whether or not it has any potential.
If it was found to have theoretical potential, new technology would need to be devised for introducing ions into fast-flowing air streams. There probably is no way to do this right now.
Nov 14, 2011: corrected an error
||It seems to me like tornadoes and ionized air already form together. I can imagine some exceedingly interesting disasters which could be created through this process...
Better interesting disasters than boring ones :D.
...anyway if ions are the problem, then I guess we need a way to neutralize them instead...
||I didn't think ionized air would be affected by magnetisam, then I remembered CRTs. But, I don't think you could get a noticeable result with a reasonable amount of energy. [ ]