August 9, 2022

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Heavy Weather, I. Heat Wave – Jess Langston Turner | U.S. Coast Guard Band

2 min read

MUC Adam Crowe, tuba

"Heavy Weather", Concerto for Tuba and Wind Ensemble
I. Heat Wave
II. Supercell/Threnody and Dissipation

"Heavy Weather" seeks to describe two powerful meteorological phenomenon that can cause severe damage and discomfort to humans, heat waves and supercells. Rather than simply portraying how one may be affected by a firsthand experience with one of these weather events, "Heavy Weather" depicts the actual natural processes involved. The first movement, "Heat Wave", concerns a high-pressure system moves slowly builds over a large area of the countryside. As the high pressure strengthens, warm air (which naturally has a tendency to rise) is trapped close to ground level. As the high pressure system stalls, the mass of warm air builds, and the temperature on the ground soars to unbearable extremes.

While heat waves result from overly stable atmospheric conditions, supercells are products of atmospheric instability, forming when a cold dry air mass collides with a warm moist air mass. Compared to normal thunderstorms, supercells are much more severe and long lived. As the thunderheads grow darker and higher, an upwardly rotating column of air called the "updraft" forms. The updraft is responsible for the generation of hail, and ultimately is instrumental in creating and spawning one of the most terrifying forces of nature: the tornado. As the storm grows more and more powerful and destructive, it becomes clear that while mankind can control many things in this world, the weather remains out of our grasp. As the storm slowly dissipates, the piece ends as it began, and tenuous stability returns to the atmosphere… for now.

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