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为什么美国有这么多龙卷风 – 译学馆
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为什么美国有这么多龙卷风

Why the US has so many tornadoes

Hollywood loves a good tornado.
好莱坞电影总爱出现龙卷风
Like most things Hollywood it’s all a little dramatic.
像好莱坞大多数电影一样 富于戏剧性
But flying cows aside, there is something accurate about the setting.
撇开飞牛不谈 这个场景有些精妙之处
“I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
“我感觉我们已经不在堪萨斯了”
You’re not. But the tornado started there, which makes sense.
确实 但龙卷风是来自堪萨斯的 就说的通了
Tornadoes are far more common in the US than anywhere else.
美国的龙卷风比世界任何地区更为常见
For perspective all of Europe records around 300 tornadoes per year,
欧洲记录的龙卷风每年约有300次
whereas the US records well over a thousand.
而美国记录的远超1000次
If we move in a bit closer,
如果我们靠近一点
you’ll see that most of the world’s tornadoes are happening here,
你会发现世界上大部分龙卷风都起源于此
in an area called Tornado Alley,
一个叫做龙卷风走廊的地方
a place that’s absolutely perfect for twisters.
对旋风来说 绝对完美的地方
Tornado Alley doesn’t have any “official” boundaries
龙卷风走廊没有“官方”规定的边界
but it’s typically considered this area that extends from northern Texas
但人们通常认为这一地区从北德克萨斯延伸
through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and South Dakota.
穿过俄克拉荷马 堪萨斯 内布拉斯加 科罗拉多和南达科他
Some people extend it even further east.
有人甚至将其扩展到更东边
While most states in the US have recorded at least one tornado,
虽然美国大多数州都至少有过一次龙卷风的记录
this area is really a hotbed
但这里确实是龙卷风温床
and the main reason for that is geography.
主要原因在于地理环境
The central part of the US is unique in the fact that
美国中部地区的独特之处在于
there’s this really large warm area of water just to the South
它的南部有大片温暖的水域
and the wide high range of mountains that extend a long way from north to south.
还有从北向南绵延的山脉
Harold Brooks is the senior research scientist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory.
哈罗德•布鲁克斯是国家强风暴实验室资深科学家
He used to chase tornadoes.
他曾经追踪过龙卷风
Now he studies them from Norman, Oklahoma in the heart of Tornado Alley.
现在他在龙卷风走廊中心地带 俄克拉荷马州诺曼市研究它们
A tornado requires a couple of special ingredients
龙卷风的成型需要一些特殊成分
— ingredients that Tornado Alley is full of.
这些成分在龙卷风走廊到处都是
First, we need a thunderstorm which we’re going to make right now.
首先我们需要现场制造一次雷暴
Sort of.
大概吧
To make a thunderstorm the things we need are warm moist air at low levels,
要制造雷暴 需要低层暖湿空气
cold dry air above that, and some mechanism to lift that warm moist air up.
上层干冷空气以及将暖湿空气抬升的机制
In Tornado Alley,
在龙卷风走廊
lots of warm moist air flows into the plains from the Gulf of Mexico
大量暖湿空气从墨西哥湾流入平原
and cool dry air flows from over the Rocky Mountains here in the West.
干冷空气则从西部的落基山脉上方流入
Eventually a change in temperature or pressure will arrive
最终会出现温度或气压的变化
and lift that warm air up into the cool air forming an updraft.
将暖空气抬升到冷空气中 形成上升气流
Once these two meet, the moisture from the warm air begins to condense,
二者相遇 暖空气中的水分就开始凝结
forming clouds, and a thunderstorm begins.
形成乌云后 雷暴就开始了
Under normal conditions, rain would fall from these clouds
通常情况下 雨水从乌云中落下
and cool the warm air breaking the storm,
并冷却暖空气 打断风暴成型
but in Tornado Alley there’s a strong air current flowing
但在龙卷风走廊 有一股强气流
from west to east known as the jet stream.
从西向东流动 被称为喷流
This, paired with the cool mountain air,
再加上山上的冷空气
blows the rain away
一起吹走了雨水
keeping the air in the updraft warm and wet,
保证上升气流温暖湿润
which allows the storm to intensify and brings us the step two:
这使得风暴加强 这样就到了第二步
getting the storm to rotate.
让风暴旋转起来
To make that happen
要做到这一点
we need winds moving at different speeds and directions.
需要不同速度和方向的风
As you can see Tornado Alley has that in abundance.
如你所见 龙卷风走廊有很多这种风
The air coming from the Gulf moves slowly into the plains,
海湾的气流缓慢流入平原
meanwhile the jet stream from the mountains
同时 山区的喷流
provides a steady stream of high fast-moving air flowing east.
提供了向东流动的稳定的高速气流
Because the jet stream is flowing faster and in a different direction
因为喷流速度更快且方向不同
it causes the Gulf when below to rotate like a spinning football.
所以下方的海湾会像橄榄球一样旋转
When the spinning air gets pulled into the updraft it’s tilted,
当旋转空气被拉入上升气流时会倾斜
but continues to spin – causing the entire updraft to rotate.
但它会继续旋转 导致整个上升气流旋转
Storms like this are known as “supercells”
这样的风暴被称为“超级单体”
and they create prime conditions for tornadoes.
它们为龙卷风创造了主要条件
They’re rare but most commonly occur in …
它们很罕见 但在某个地方最常见……
You guessed it –Tornado Alley.
没错——龙卷风走廊
As the supercell grows
超级单体增长时
the spiraling updraft begins to stretch towards the ground
螺旋上升气流开始向地面延伸
and forcefully pulls air into the cyclone.
并强行把空气吸入气旋
Air rushes in from the sides and a spinning dust cloud forms below,
空气从边缘涌入 下方形成了旋转尘埃云
which brings us to the final stage –
接下来就是最后一步——
getting the vertically spinning air to the ground.
把垂直旋转的气流带到地面
Stage three is the friction in the tea cup.
第三阶段就像茶杯中的摩擦
It’s like using a spoon to swirl tea leaves at the bottom of a cup.
就像用勺子搅动杯底的茶叶一样
The tea leaves rush into the center
茶叶涌到了茶杯中间
and are pulled up through the middle of the tea cyclone.
并通过茶旋风的中心被拉上来
In a real tornado everything around the cyclone is sucked up—
在真正的龙卷风中 周围的一切——
air, dirt, debris, cows …
空气 灰尘 碎片 奶牛……都被吸走了
As more and more air is pulled in tightly,
当越来越多的空气被紧紧吸入
pressure builds and the faster and longer that tornado gets.
压力就形成了 龙卷风也加快并增长
It stretches closer to the ground
它不断向地面延伸
until it eventually meets with that dust cloud.
最终遇到了尘埃云
And then, it touches down.
然后 它降临大地
We see most tornadoes in the central part of the US
大多数龙卷风在美国中部出现
because of the ingredients that are necessary for a tornado
因为这里组成龙卷风的必要成分
come together there more often than any other place.
比其他任何地方聚集得更多
The United States isn’t the only place that gets tornadoes.
美国不是唯一有龙卷风的地方
Southeastern Brazil and northeastern Argentina
巴西东南部和阿根廷东北部
have some of the same ingredients Tornado Alley does:
也有一些相同的龙卷风成分
cool mountain air coming over the Andes, and warm moist air coming from the Amazon.
安第斯山脉的冷空气 亚马孙雨林的暖湿空气
But even still, the frequency of tornadoes is scores behind the US.
即便如此 龙卷风的频率仍远远低于美国
While the right conditions come together
合适的条件同时出现时
sometimes the geography isn’t exactly right.
地理环境有时并不完全符合
In South America the Andes aren’t as wide as the Rockies
南美洲的安第斯山脉没有落基山脉那么宽
and the Amazon isn’t as good of a moisture source as the Gulf of Mexico is
亚马孙雨林的水汽也没有墨西哥湾的好
because it’s land.
因为那是陆地
It’s sort of a Goldilocks problem.
这有点像金发姑娘问题
And a delicate recipe.
这是个精细的诀窍
Most people will go their entire lives without ever seeing a tornado
大多数人一辈子都看不到龙卷风
and some would consider that lucky.
有人认为这很幸运
Others actively seek them out –
有些人则积极寻找机会
and those that do start in Tornado Alley,
他们就从龙卷风走廊开始探索
where the geography is just right.
因为这里的地理环境刚刚好
Just knowing what makes a tornado isn’t enough
仅仅知道龙卷风是如何形成的
to anticipate when and where it’ll happen,
还不足以预测它何时何地会发生
so if you want to know how meteorologists try to predict these dangerous storms
所以如果你想知道气象学家如何预测这些危险的风暴
check out the documentary Tornado Season on CuriosityStream.
就去看看“好奇流”上的纪录片《龙卷风季节》吧
CuriosityStream is a subscription streaming service
好奇流是一种订阅流媒体服务
that offers thousands of documentaries and nonfiction titles
提供世界上最优秀的电影制作人的
from some of the world’s best filmmakers.
数千部纪录片和非虚构类影片
You can get unlimited access starting at $2.99 a month
每月2.99美元就能享受无限访问权
and because you’re a Vox fan the first 31 days are free
如果你注册CuriosityStream.com/Vox并使用优惠码
if you sign up at CuriosityStream.com/Vox and use the promo code Vox.
成为Vox会员 前31天可免费
CuriosityStream doesn’t affect our editorial
好奇流没有参与我们的编辑
but their support does make videos like this one possible,
但他们的支持使得这些视频能播出
so go check them out.
所以快去查看吧

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视频概述

为什么美国总出现龙卷风?龙卷风是如何形成的?来一探究竟吧。

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsEA9tGMFQQ

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