I'm looking to see if it's possible to create a planet which has constant, violent storms occurring in a ring around the planet.

There's been plenty of questions on here about weather on tidally locked planets (e.g. Tidally Locked Planet, Weather, How to construct an Earth-like world with very high wind speeds, and How would winds behave on a tidally locked planet?). The general consensus seems to be that, assuming there is an atmosphere, air currents would flow from the very hot 'day' side into the very cold 'night' side.

It also seems that when cold and hot air currents meet, storms can occur (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_front).

Based on the information above, on a tidally locked planet, is it possible that constant storms would be present between the day and night sides? If so, would the storms extend all the way around the planet or would they die out towards to poles? If not, are there any conditions which could make this work?

  • $\begingroup$ "occurring in a ring around the planet" - you mean the storms should be more or less constrained to low latitudes? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Mar 10, 2021 at 17:45

2 Answers 2


is it possible that constant storms would be present between the day and night sides?

So long as there's an atmosphere, there kinda has to be some flow of air. Modelling how violent it would be is hard, but I think you can justify storm-strength winds.

would the storms extend all the way around the planet or would they die out towards to poles?

If you did get a complete ring of bad weather around the he world at the edge of the day-side, you could give the phenomenon the splendid name of Terminator Storm.

There's a chance that you won't get this at all, though.

Venus isn't quite tidally locked, but its rotation is so slow that it may as well be. Its atmosphere on the other hand undergoes super-rotation, where it rotates around the world considerably faster than the planet itself rotates. Titan is another world which is tidally locked whose atmosphere apparently superrotates too.

This is potentially a good thing for tidally locked worlds as it would redistribute heat around the planet quite effectively, preventing the atmosphere from freezing out on the dark side and increased thermal escape on the light side leaving a mostly or entirely airless world.

This gives you continuous equatorial wind, but where the storms would end up I'm much less sure. We know that Venus has lightning, mostly on the light side at low latitudes, so clearly storms of some kind can and do arise even in that atmosphere. A cooler and wetter world should be able to support storms more like those we experience on Erath.

Note that on Venus, the winds mostly travel around the world (zonal flow) with a much smaller north-south component than winds on Earth do... you don't get much flow over the poles on either planet. What you do get on Venus are vast, apparently permanent polar storms:

They are giant hurricane-like storms four times larger than their terrestrial analogs. Each vortex has two "eyes"—the centres of rotation, which are connected by distinct S-shaped cloud structures.

and if that doesn't enthuse you, I don't know what will.

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting, thanks! Also Terminator Storm is a great name! $\endgroup$
    – Brad0440
    Mar 10, 2021 at 15:21

Belly band.

Iapetus' peerless equatorial ridge


Iapetus is a moon of Saturn with a circumferential mountain range. These are tall mountains for a little moon!

On Earth, with no circumequatorial mountain range, winds already converge and dump rain on the equator.



Your world has a Mountains of Madness worthy ring of mountains around the middle. Winds hit it and air moves up. Rising air has less ability to carry moisture. Rain ensues.

Are they thunderstorms or just a gentle rain? Hmmm. Does "Seattle World" grab you and shake you?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As a former resident of Seattle, I approve. $\endgroup$ Mar 10, 2021 at 18:19

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