ARE YOU among those farmers often heard to comment that neighbours are getting all the storm rain, while your own farm misses out?
If so, it’s an observation that may have a basis in physics, new research suggests.
Dev Niyogi, climatologist for Purdue University, Indiana, US says it is well understood that tropical storms gain their strength from evaporation of warm ocean water.
What’s less understood is what drives these storms over land.
"The same phenomenon - the evaporation from the ocean that sustains the storms - could be the same phenomenon that sustains that storm over land with moisture in the soil," Associate Professor Niyogi says.
Studies of 30 years of monsoon patterns over India by Purdue University scientists showed that tropical storms are sustained by moist soil, but tend to fizzle over dry ground.
"The storm will have more moisture and energy available over wet soil than dry," he says
He believes the physics should apply elsewhere. The theory will now be applied to US hurricane research.
The Purdue team’s findings have recently been published in Geophysical Research Letters.