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Part of my story is set on an arctic planet (think something along the lines of Hoth or just some planet deep in an ice age) where a research team is sent by a major intergalactic corporation. I want to have it where, over the course of between roughly six months to two years, the team starts noticing weather patterns that regularly increase in severity until eventually one comes that is enough to wipe out their camp. (Leading to the next part of the story).

I am not familiar with meteorology and I am from an area where we do not have any severe winter storms. I want this team to be able to track coming arctic storms and their severity.

For the make-up of the camp, consider current Antarctic research bases. The British Antarctic research base, for example, is made of small, light metal structures lifted off the ice insulated from the cold of the region.

What form could a large scale arctic storm take that would allow them to critically damage a small research camp?

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    $\begingroup$ You seem to be asking a bunch of different things all at once, how to "design a storm", what factors would a research team track, could a storm damage a research camp, what forms could a storm capable of destroying a small research camp take. On worldbuilding we have a strict 1 question per post limit. Can you edit your post to focus on asking a single question? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Apr 27, 2022 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings sorry. First time asking a question. I will edit it down. Thanks $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 27, 2022 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ Stuffing multiple questions into one sentence still has you asking more than one question. Currently you're asking "if a storm could damage a research camp?" and "What would a storm capable of destroying a research camp look like?" $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Apr 27, 2022 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings is that better? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 27, 2022 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ Can you describe the infrastructure of the research camp? Tents will be affected by weather differently than prefabricated structures. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Apr 27, 2022 at 15:09

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Here's the basics of how hurricanes work, and that should help.

Hurricanes derive their energy from evaporation. The swirling air creates a low pressure zone in the center that sucks water into the atmosphere. That water moves to the edges of the low pressure zone and turns back into water, releasing that energy. That energy turns into wind, which is why hurricanes suck and blow.

So you need oceans. Maybe they're shallow oceans with black basaltic crust under them, or the water itself has a mineral in it that absorbs heat well. If those oceans are primarily in one hemisphere (north/south), then that hemisphere will experience worse storms during the local equivalent of summer.

Maybe they're trying to terraform an ice planet, which increases the amount of heat available, which increases the intensity of the storms. Maybe the planet's orbit is more than a little elliptical, so it's actually getting closer to the star. In general, if you want bigger storms, you need more heat.

Here's a fun thought. Maybe there's something about the eye of a cyclone on the planet that magnifies light. The immediate thought is a seed like a dandelion, but with a flat, reflective upper surface. When the cyclone spins, the flat tops all tilt inward. The clouds create a bowl that funnels sunlight into the patch of cloudless skies above the eye, significantly increasing the evaporation in that spot. This part is fiction, as I know of no existing mechanism to do this, but it's entirely imaginable. That would create a giant magnifying glass that could actually melt ice under it, drawing gouges in the ice shelf instead of making the eye a safe spot.

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