On the Lighter Side: HAARP Tornado Vortex Clouds Attack!

May 17th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I get scattered e-mails from a lot of people, but I get routine updates from someone named “Ol’fisherman” on the sinister weather modifying effects of the HAARP facility in Alaska. The Wikipedia page describing the research facility even has a section on Conspiracy Theories.

Now, if you go to Google images and search on “lenticular clouds” you will find MANY photos similar to this one, which Ol’fisherman sent to me:
Here is the description he provided of this photo (I am not making this up):

These are HAARP generated Vortex Clouds. The exact type formation as seen in NORWAY HE LASER photos. The Energy here came down from Stratosphere Bounce from Earthbound HAARP Machine Array in AK. The Particle Physics as seen in Photo say’s the Proton to Neutron Interaction Threshold has not been reached yet at elevations shown. But when the spiral cone gets closer to Earth’s Teller Currents, and it will; the E- GAP is bridged Electrically, and the Record Tornado size and Speeds being reported, are the Result!!

Now let’s see how long it takes for someone to post a comment that I shouldn’t be poking fun, since I’m a believer in the greenhouse effect which is obviously a “conspiracy” of misguided physicists.

60 Responses to “On the Lighter Side: HAARP Tornado Vortex Clouds Attack!”

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  1. Bret says:

    That is a really beautiful picture! Thanks for posting it.

    • ripp asher says:

      Agreed. I am a better person today for seeing it. I am totally awe-struck. Never have seen a prettier cloud formation!

  2. What a great picture.

    I appreciate your efforts in this climate debate.

    I also think you make so much sense when it comes to the greenhouse gas effect. I have got so much insight from you.

    Our only difference is I believe solar has much to do with it, (climate controlled by external forces) while you think the earth has the capacity to change the climate, through chaotic and random occurrences, happening from within the earth, without the aid of external forces.

    I say yes for small changes in the climate like within 1 degree centigrade or so, but for larger changes which swing the earth into a different climate regime,or cause the climate of the earth to change in an abrupt manner ,I think thresholds have to be accomplished, but they can’t be unless some external force is giving the items that control the climate of the earth a chance to phase or come together in such a way to cause a threshold to be met, and when that threshold is met,that is when the climate will change fast and in an abrupt manner.

    Yes it is chaotic and random to a degree but to get the climate to shift into another regime I think an outside driver(the sun) is needed to get the randomness to a degree that would be neccessary to bring the climate to some sort of a threshold.

    It is very hard to change the climate it always wants to return to the norm, and yet it is in such a delicate balance.

    • ripp asher says:

      Could you give me some info on the effects of a slight polar shift on the axis? To much mumbo jumbo guessing goes on when you look for it with google. Thnx.

  3. Max™ says:

    Oh please Roy, as if I would tease you about the GHE rather than going for the low hanging fruit: that you think a microbolometer measures anything but the net gain or loss of energy by the sensor as it is aimed at a target.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      even though this is way OT, Max, I find it interesting that you virtually make my point for me…
      1) a microbolometer measures changes in electrical resistance due to a temperature change (look it up)
      2) that temperature change is indeed, as you say, due to a change in (infrared) energy gain or loss.

      Bingo! That’s the greenhouse effect in action, silly.

      • Max™ says:

        Energy gain or loss, i.e. not “the sensor being warmed by any IR it receives” as you claim.

      • Max™ says:

        More to the point, if you are right, why do we cool far-infrared telescopes?

        Why do we need to recalibrate IR thermometers?

        In my world, an IR sensor detects when it is losing more or less energy to a target as a voltage change and assigns those measurements to a lower temperature than the sensor.

        Similarly, in my world, an IR sensor detects when it is gaining more or less energy from a target as a voltage change and assigns those measurements to a higher temperature than the sensor.

        What color is the sky in your world, Roy?

  4. This has struck a HAARPischord with the nutters.

    Once I had the opportunity to be on “Coast to Coast” AM to talk about global warming.

    Inevitably, callers asked about HAARP and Chemtrails.

    It was a proud opportunistic moment for me when I announced to a stunned audience that both of these ideas were “total crap”, and proceeded to explain why. Yes, I said it exactly like that, “total crap”. A collective gasp was felt in the ether.

    My inbox flamed for weeks.

    I haven’t been invited back – bad for ratings I suppose. 😉

    And they still talk about it there, unfazed except for that brief moment when somebody challenged their beliefs. Reminds me of recent postings here.

    • stubben says:

      Re: Anthony Watts (May 17 16:11),

      Anthony, what you and Roy are ranting about is nothing better than what Lew and Cook are doing when smearing conspiracy theories on those with another view on AGW.
      This does NOT further science!

      • Andy says:

        The issue of HAARP isn’t a matter of science that comes with it inherent uncertainties, it’s merely an assertion about what the facility is used for that is completely inaccurate.

  5. DarrylB says:

    This one is going in my man cave–love it.
    Friends know I am passionate about the whole of climate science and humanity. I have learned more about human nature from the science of climate change than from any social science narrative. I am going to wait to see if any will ask questions when they see the picture. Great opportunity to tell a wild story.
    Maybe I will send it in to the local weather channel.

  6. steveta-uk says:

    Roy how could you make fun of other serios researchers in this way when you accept the crazy notion of Back Radiation that has been PROVEN false by Claes and Dug and blah blah blah etc I cant be bothered

  7. steveta-uk says:

    ps I was joking please don’t ban me!

  8. Norman says:

    I would not poke too much fun of Ol’Fisherman, from what he sent you it sounds a lot like a schizophrenic individual. It is a different sense of reality that many mock, but viewing the world in a different way can lead to new discovery. Sometimes what we feel is real and solid are just vapor

  9. Bruce says:


    Was your assessment of the Haarp/chemtrails thing based on any science or evidence or just a straightforward gut reaction? I don’t know enough about the subject to form a valid opinion but I’d be interested in hearing arguments for and against as the subject is quite fascinating to me.

    • Anthony Watts says:

      Bruce, my opinion is based on two things.

      1) I’ve been in radio/tv for a long time, worked on transmitters, hold a radio operators license, and know how the simple application of the inverse square law from HAARP doesn’t yield enough power at distance to have any effect on the atmosphere. The amount of power emitted by HAARP is small compared to the energy fluxes around it that occur naturally.

      2. Before I lost my hearing and could no longer trust my interpretation of the radio from control tower operators that talk like auctioneers, I was a pilot. I know what goes into jet engines and what comes out. I know how jet engines produce exhaust and what it is composed of. Via Wiki which explains it well:

      The main products jet engine fuel combustion are carbon dioxide and water vapor. At high altitudes this water vapor emerges into a cold environment, and the local increase in water vapor can raise the relative humidity of the air past saturation point. The vapor then condenses into tiny water droplets which freeze if the temperature is low enough. These millions of tiny water droplets and/or ice crystals form the contrails. The time taken for the vapor to cool enough to condense accounts for the contrail forming some way behind the aircraft’s engines. At high altitudes, supercooled water vapor requires a trigger to encourage deposition or condensation. The exhaust particles in the aircraft’s exhaust act as this trigger, causing the trapped vapor to rapidly condense. Exhaust contrails usually occur above 8,000 m (26,000 ft), and only if the temperature there is below −40 °C

      I know where the flyways are. I know what to expect and where to expect contrails. There’s no mystery to me.

      HAARP and Chemtrails are nothing more that incomplete projections of misunderstandings of how the physical processes work in our atmosphere. I make no apoligies to anyone for calling these theories “crap”.

      • Anthony Watts says:

        I would add that we don’t see people complaining about the Roumoules radio transmitter in France doing weather modification, and it has a similar max radiative power to HAARP(3.2MW) at 3.0MW.


        One other thing, regarding contrails that get improperly labeled as chemtrails, military aircraft take precautions to avoid contrails which enable visual detection by the enemy, including choice of altitude. At at;titude, many aircraft are nearly invisible to the naked eye if not for contrails. So I seriously doubt United and American airlines are spraying their customers, they want to keep them around to soak them for baggage fees.

        • Norman says:

          Anthony Watts

          I would not be so certain as to claim these theories “crap”.

          Here is one for you to consider. Weather modification would have enormous military applicatinon. Wars have been won or lost because of weather (think Spanish Armada and many other historical examples). To think that advanced technological systems would not make strong efforts to manipulate weather would be naive and miss how valuable such manipulations would be. You could create droughts or floods in enemy territory without firing a shot and slowly defeat them. You could send many severe weather events to cause damage to property which will waste a Nation’s resource spending on things that were already built and have to be replaced. It will slow down the economic growth of a system. It has both positive and negative aspects. If the US military did not work on seeing what was possible they would be left in the dust by Russia and China.

          • Norman says:

            Anthony Watts,

            You state that contrails are helped by the particles in engine exhaust. The water vapor comes from the hydrogen contained in hydrocarbons. Since cloud formation or supression is known to have effects on climate why wouldn’t the military (Air Force) experiment with different materials to see if they could enhance or eliminate cloud formation in the upper atmosphere?

            Since weather is a chatoic system and hurricanes begin as small disturbances and grow it does not require that much energy at the intitial formation to cause much larger effects down the road as the system strengthens.

            To totally reject such theories would require inside information. I do not believe the conspiracy people or you are privy to information that would allow any conclusive statements about weather modification experiments or research. It is much better to keep an open mind on the matter.

            Also if weather modification is being carried out it would have to be subtle and passive as not to alert the many meteorologists monitoring weather or to send any clear or obvious signals to Russia or China who could perceive weather manipulation as an act of war and take retalitory measures.

          • Norman says:

            On HAARP, it is a phase array allowing the energy produced to be sent to specific areas. Here is one of the specualations on HAARP and how it can be used to modify weather patterns. The upper ionsphere is getting hit with lots of particle energy in the form of the solar wind. Some of this high energy can be seen when some of this energies particles hits the thicker atmosphere and turns into the Northern lights.

            HAARP can directionally send energy into the ionosphere (what it was designed for). So many reject this based upon energy flows. That may be limited thinking. HAARP energy is much less than solar energy. That would not matter, it would not be the amount of energy but the nature of the energy that is important. The ideas I have read is that the HAARP energy is able to alter the properties of the ionsphere making it either more or less conductive for the high energy particles hitting the top of the ionosphere. By altering the properties of the ionosphere and allowing the high energy particles to move lower and deposit their energies closer to Troposphere they can alter upper level pressures and move the jet stream around. I do not claim this is a verifiable fact or even that I agree with it. I like to keep an open mind on the subject.

            This link shows a large amount of patents produced on the topic of weather modification. Some of these may actually work.


            On the chemtrail topic, those looking into it undertand what contrails are. They are wondering about the persitant ones. Normally contrais exist for a few minutes and then fade away. Many people wonder why some seem to last for hours then turn into actual cloud banks. Seen in stop/action filming of contrails turning into cloud banks.

            Here is what people are asking about, the contrails last so long they turn into a layer of clouds. You can see the contrails in the enhanced infrared and the normal infrared it looks like cloud banks.


            Changing cloud cover could lead to large changes in weather. Say for hurricane intensity. If you could create a bank of clouds during the day over the Atlantic you would keep the SST a little lower which has big effects in hurricane intensity or on the other hand you could do something to eliminate cloud formation and get the water warmer.

            As you can see from the photo evidence, the area covered by persistant contrails is very large. Definately large enough area to effect weather.

          • Norman, thanks for responding. You’ve removed the miniscule amount of remaining doubt in my mind about these theories being total crap.

          • Norman says:

            I am not sure I understand the strength of your opinion on this topic. You may not have time to read through this with all the work you are doing, but it does demonstrate that weather modification is far from “crap” even if you strongly believe it is.


            In this patent, the author describes how a submarine equipped with a bluff shaped object and cruising about can lift cold water to the surface and bring the warm water down cooling the top layer. He calculates that one submarine could cool an ocean section of 100km x 100km by 5C in 24 days.

            From my meteorology book titled “The Science and Wonders of the Atmosphere” by Stanley David Gedzelman he states that
            “But hurricanes never develop froom completely uniform background. They always develop from some preexisting disturbance in the tropical atmosphere, no matter how subtle and harmless it may seem.” (page 315)

            From the same book on page 319: “Rough estimates indicate that each increase of 1C of the ocean temperature allows a decrease of 12 mb for the central pressure of the hurricane. Of course, the lower the central pressure, the stronger the winds and greater the precipitation tend to be.”

            So even one submarine cruising in the ocean can drastically effect this and you would still consider this to be “crap”?
            I would ask why do you have such a strong opinion on the matter when evidence would suggest other?

          • Norman, weather modification is an established science. For example, PG&E uses such techniques here to enhance snowfall for hydroelectric projects in the Sierra Nevada.

            HAARP/Contrails and all the stuff that goes with them is noy science, but little more than cargo cult mysticism in a pseudo-sciencey sounding wrapper, and yes, that’s “total crap”.

          • Norman says:

            Anthony Watts,

            I thank you for your thoughtful responses I visit your blog on a daily basis and enjoy your large selection of information.

            Persistant contrails do form naturally and have done so as long as jets have been flying. Modifications of this process is still a possibility.


            I went to the official HAARP page and they make this claim: “The downward coupling from the ionosphere to the stratosphere/troposphere is extremely weak, and no association between natural ionospheric variability and surface weather and climate has been found, even at the extraordinarily high levels of ionospheric turbulence that the sun can produce during a geomagnetic storm. If the ionospheric storms caused by the sun itself don’t affect the surface weather, there is no chance that HAARP can do so either.”

            However researching the topic a bit I did find this.


            “There is no generally accepted mechanism for tropospheric effects of geomagnetic storms. The observed cooling in the middle mesosphere [e.g., Lastovicka, 1996] and absence of the geomagnetic storm effect in the middle stratospheric temperature exclude the possibility of direct downward transport of heat from the greatly heated auroral thermosphere down to the troposphere. The agent responsible for the tropospheric effects must basically skip across the stratosphere. Only two agents fulfill this request, the galactic cosmic ray flux modulated by the geomagnetic storm and the global electric circuit and/or atmospheric electricity affected by in situ changes of conductivity and by ionospheric/magnetospheric electric fields and currents. The mechanism must include triggering and/or amplification phenomena, because the energy of storm-related atmospheric processes is by several orders of magnitude higher than the input energy of solar wind/geomagnetic storm origin.”

            Some researchers have found evidence that geomagnetic stroms can effect surface conditions. More is in the article if anyone is interested.

      • ripp asher says:

        IS it like the tail on comets in a way?

  10. Johan says:

    Of course it’s a conspiracy! It’s a secret continuation of Tesla’s attempts to communicate with Martians.

  11. PhysicistPhillipe says:

    OT, but is there a reason I cannot get the Discover Temp Tracking site to update past May 6th? Thanks

  12. Roy Spencer says:

    But Anthony, maybe they are spraying their customers with chemicals which will make the customers ok with paying baggage fees

  13. Brane Jenko says:

    Dear Dr. Roy Spencer,

    I regularly visit your web page once a week at least ( for last few years) and I have to say I enjoy in yur superb wrintings. I am a chemist working from 1968 (medicinal chemistry) and still work in my own small Co. What I enjoy the most is that you are sceptic on “both sides”.

    About the picture of clouds and “HARP” I can say people still don’t know what nature can show and surprise us, so I wouldn’t pay much attention on such mails from enthusiastic conspiracy lovers.

    I hope so you don’t mind that I distributed your web page to many of my friends who are still beleivers of AGW.

    My Best Regards and Respects

    Brane jenko

  14. Roy Spencer says:

    I’m sure the military HAS researched weather modification for military purposes. But I would wager it has been a dead end. Even if you consider chaos, you don’t know whether anything you do would tip the balance toward the direction you wish, or away. NOAA has a long history with weather modification and the results have been largely inconclusive, primarily because we can’t do anything that competes energy wise with what nature is doing.

    • Norman says:

      Roy Spencer,

      Here is one case where weather modification is being used and works. Seems mostly cloud seeding in this case. The claim is a 10-15% increase in snowpack in Colorado and in Kansas the claim is that with weather modification they save $4 million a year on potential hail damage.


      Dr. Spencer you have studied weather and know that many extreme events begin as little ones and amplify. If you know how these small initial effects grow and develop it is possible that with the energy man has at his disposal events can be shaped.

      I don’t know if you looked at a link I posted on one of my replies to Anthony Watts. It shows how extensive an area of clouds was formed from jet contrails. This large of an area can easily effect weather systems downstream.

      Contrails developed cloud banks that covered over two states worth of area.

      Please note I am not saying the military or anyone has a successful program of weather modification. I do not know. My point is to keep an open mind on the issue and don’t just dismiss it without consideration. Regardless of what you believe, it would still have enormous military advantage and I do not see a reason why they would abandon the effort. Even with past failures, a new technology could make things that were not possible a few years ago much more likely. One I can think of is supercomputers. The more exactly you can model atmospheric conditions the more you can see what early smaller energy instabilities can grow into large scale weather events down the road, in early states you may not need to apply great quanties of energy to cause large effects at a later time.

  15. Massimo PORZIO says:

    @Dr.Spencer & Antony Watts.

    While you are spending your time negating the dangers of HAARP (the SARC switch is on, of course), here in Italy one of the main TV networks prepared us for the most important breaking news of tonight: the most dangerous gas ever “pumped” into the atmosphere by men reached a level ever seen in last 3 million years!!!
    I feel that the message will be such as the tipping point has reached and overcame.
    We are all already cooked guys, can’t do anything else than decide what will be our garnish sauce.



  16. Gras Albert says:


    I can’t comment on Ol’fisherman’s fears but as a sailplane pilot with a few thousand hours spent in practical research of lower atmosphere physics, mostly with a grin stretching from ear to ear!, I’d pay good money to get a launch into that wave system…

  17. Yeah, I was dumped from the Puget Sound Radio blog for pointing to reasons for phenomena the owner used as proof that they could not be airliners.
    Never mind the owner had strongly praised me for my posts against climate alarmism.
    He’s a foul-mouthed erratic individual.

    In addition to what Anthony explained, I note that (addressing some claims that certain observed phenomena cannot be airliners):
    – formation of contrails varies with aircraft type due different amount of soot generation
    – dissipation may vary with altitude due different winds
    – airliner flight tracks are parallel in busy areas, and spaced vertically as well (closer now due modern navigation equipment).
    – formation flights do occur, perhaps mostly with fighters practicing and with tankers leading fighters across an ocean. Spacing may be much tighter than airliners are allowed.
    – routes are not obvious to lay people who use flat maps instead of globes (e.g. the Great Circle routing to/from many US cities across the Pacific ocean is quite far north compared to what lay people expect, coming closer to coastlines than people think).

  18. Re weather mofidication:

    I am advised by credible sources that cloud seeding to reduce intensity of hail in the approximate area of Red Deer to Calgary AB is effective enough that insurance companies continue to pay for it.

    They release the chemical below clouds.

    I am told that the big thus most damaging hail results from being bounced up and down, adding mass each trip.

    I don’t remember what the mechanism of the chemical’s action is.

  19. Yep, that kind of technology is occurring in Hawaii too. And it’s so obvious because you live in Hawaii all your life and you notice things, like odd weather events. They know dam well we can’t do anything about it.

  20. Brian D says:

    I’ll bet’cha HAARP isn’t as controversial as this is.
    Job 37:10-13 “The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them. At his discretion they swirl around over the face of the earth to do whatever he commands them. He brings the clouds to punish men, or to water the earth and show his love.”

    All have faith, but where is placed?

  21. JayKay4 says:

    I did not read all of the comments, so I hope I am not being repetitious by mentioning that the clouds in the figure are lenticular clouds which are standing mountain wave clouds produced during moist, laminar flow in a stable atmosphere.

    • Johan says:

      AH, that explains why Dr Spencer wrote “Now, if you go to Google images and search on “lenticular clouds” .

    • Norman says:

      Barry Kolsky,

      Thanks for posting that video, very interesting. Maybe if Dr. Spencer has time he can watch some of it. The evidence seems enough that it should calm the laughter (Anthony Watts my watch as well they have a weatherman that had been in the job 20 years). The empirical evidence of the heavy metals in snow and rain water should at least make the laughers sit up and investigate.

      • bob says:

        The “laughers” will never sit up and investigate because they are only paid to ridicule the discussion.

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  23. Mack says:

    A wee bit of music while we wait for Roy.

  24. bob paglee says:

    hanks for the beautiful corkscrew cloud formations! Dangling down as they are, the resemble a portion of a cow’s udder. Are these similar to the ones we used to call “mamma” that were sometimes an early warning of a tornado about to form? They just had to dangle down a little more and then –POW!

  25. michael hart says:

    The Cloud Appreciation Society has a nice website with galleries of beautiful clouds contributed from people around the world.

    It allows you to search by cloud types and optical effects, many of which I had never heard of before.


  26. Ric Werme says:

    The only thing more impressive than that photo of lenticular clouds was Ol’fisherman’s explanation. Both are works of art.

    Sorry I’m late to the fray, but you and your readers handled it well.

    Is it safe to say the most important parameter to determine the fate of contrails is the humidity of the air mass the jet is traveling through? Dry air – no contrail, not so dry – short contrail. Average humidity – long contrail, supersaturated air – contrail that broadens for miles and miles.

    Colored contrail – either sunset or chemtrail. Okay, or sunrise. 🙂

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