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Alright so my planet is very similar to Earth, but slightly more unstable. Both geologically and atmospherically speaking. It orbits an orange star, slightly larger and more “angry” than the sun. It throws out solar flares much more frequently than our star.

So here is what I’m thinking. My planet has holes that open in the atmosphere/magnetosphere that let high amounts of radiation through. What I’m looking for is a two part effect, so I’ll detail each individually.

Part 1: Before the storm proper, the area is saturated with intense and deadly light and radiation that has been let through the atmosphere. Basically like a giant laser that renders the entire area impassible for a period of time.

Part 2: The storm itself is caused by the previously mentioned “death zone” and its effects on the weather and atmosphere. High winds, superheated clouds of gas, dust, and plasma, molten glass rain, intense radiation, and huge bolts of lighting characterize these incredibly violent and hyper-lethal storms.

The main question is how can I connect these two halves. Given the first part, is there any way I can make the second part make sense. If it doesn’t make sense, any other ideas are appreciated, as well as any other insights into how this could occur or possible unseen side effects. Answers away!

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    $\begingroup$ The only thing that the magnetosphere blocks are charged particles. If a magnet was sufficient to stop radiation, we wouldn't make such a fuss for places like Chernobyl. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 17:01

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I don't think you have that much of a problem.

You appear to be describing a thunderstorm on steroids

Simplistically, a thunderstorm needs moisture and something to cause that moisture to begin moving upwards where it encounters cold air. Add an electric differential between high atmosphere and the ground and boom... thunderstorm.

You're describing the same thing, you've just hopped it up on steroids.

  • Your air begins as normal air with moisture in it.
  • Next, that hole you mention lets more than your average amount of solar wind through. We're not just talking ultravoilet light. We're talking about microwaves that will boil the moisture in the atmosphere (and everywhere else) like a cup of coffee in a microwave.
  • That creates the heat column needed to start the convection process that thunderstorms depend on. Heated atmosphere and moisture begins traveling up the column of uninhibited solar wind until that hole of yours closes.
  • And what comes crashing in, especially at high levels were the atmosphere is a bit thinner and less tolerant of big blobs of heated air, is the the makings of a grade-AAA, grandmother-of-all-thunderstoms thunderstorm.

Keep in mind that there are many kinds of storm that fits within the thunderstorm context. Wet storms. Dry storms. They all tend to have lightning and almost always have tons of wind. There's enough variety in terrestrial thunderstorms that I believe you can legitimately connect those two halves.

Thunderstorms. Check 'em out.

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