Mike Oblinski is an Emmy award-winning videographer based in Phoenix. He’s an avid storm chaser and has produced a number of timelapse videos featuring our atmosphere. The imagery is stunning, showing the fluidity of our skies and the often violent turn it can take.
Oblinski just released on Vimeo his latest work, “Vorticity.” Mathematically, vorticity is the curl of the velocity field. It’s a measure of local rotation in the fluid that is our atmosphere.
Vorticity is important on the large scale when we are analyzing waves in the atmosphere that turn into large winter cyclones or the more subtle waves during the warmer months that help to spark afternoon storms.
On the much smaller scale, vorticity, or the amount of spin in the atmosphere, is important in the forecasting of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. If enough vorticity is present and stretched vertically in a strong updraft, tornadoes can develop. Examples of tornado genesis are present in this video as are many other displays of atmospheric vorticity.
Personally, I could watch this on repeat all day long. If you don’t already love our atmosphere like I do, I challenge you to watch this and not fall in love.