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Question:
I am trying to find the largest tube in Fort Collins, Colorado. Is it possible to have a tube with non-solid sides (fluid sides). Is there an atmospheric condition that could cause the formation of a tube?



Replies:
By a tube I assume you mean something which has well-defined sides and an "empty" or at least "different" middle? I am not aware of anything that a fluid could make that resembles such a thing. However, there are two fluid phenomena that you might be able to argue as tubes - a vortex and a convection cell. The vortex is what you get with a hurricane or (smaller) a tornado. The convection cell is much larger and involves the rising and falling of huge sections of the atmosphere - I think there are three or four convection cell regions in the atmosphere stretching from the equator to the poles. Maybe an atmospheric scientist can give more details?

Arthur Smith



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