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Most level 4+ mutants in the X-Men universe have powers that have at least partially scientific (or at worst, pseudo-scientific) explanations:

  • Professor X - Brain cells can interact with a 'psionic field', which could be a form of quantum entanglement.
  • Wolverine - Body produces its own stem cells with super charged mitochondria and rapid transcription.
  • Cyclops - Retinal cells employ one of any number of light emitting phenomena.
  • Magneto - Bloodstream contains magnetic monopoles, when aligned, does what Magneto does.

And so on and so forth.

But what about Storm? She manipulates wind, lightning, rain, waves etc. If this is an ability to manipulate gas and liquid masses on a large scale, she should be close to being psychokinetic. Are her powers simply mystical or do they have at least a partially scientific explanation?

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    She's an atmospheric science model that obtained sentience – DVK-on-Ahch-To Feb 8 '12 at 11:38
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    I think it stems from the butterfly effect. She can manipulate small phenomena, but it can trigger large-scale weather variations. – David Stratton Feb 8 '12 at 12:53
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    sexiest quantum mechanic I've ever seen then... – Stu Wilson Feb 8 '12 at 12:55
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    Wolverine and Cyclops are level 5 mutants? I don't think that is right. – OghmaOsiris Feb 8 '12 at 15:55
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    A "psionic field" is a plausible explanation? So, Professor X can read brain activity because the brain emits a field that can be read? Far as I'm concerned, it's all magic... – John C Mar 17 '12 at 12:03
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Let me answer by starting with a question: Plausible in relationship to what?

  • In the real world we live in, such fantastic mutant powers are simply beyond the realm of human experience simply because most of those powers exceed the realm of physical science as we know them.

  • Good science fiction (comic fiction) mixes the fantastic with the mundane so being able to say that Wolverine's regeneration as a form of super-stem cell mitosis makes the character appear more plausible but still defies physics and biology as we know it. Such questions as Can Wolverine Survive without oxygen? undermine the scientific validity of said characters but don't make them any less fun or fantastic to consider.

Can Storm's powers be considered plausible in our universe?

Marvel has not been very reliable in explaining the true mechanics of how her powers work. Judging strictly from observation, her powers are a mixture of psionic ability (most likely a form of telekinesis) which Storm has oriented around weather-based phenomena.

  • We have seen her create micro-climates of blazing heat or freezing cold. Both could be done with a telekinetic molecular control of matter in a specific area.

  • We have seen her create lightning which could be done by bringing charged particles to her and charging and releasing said particles.

  • We have seen her gather or create conditions for storms which could be done using telekinesis to alter the relationships of warm and cold air in the atmosphere (baring their existence, she could make the hot or cold air as needed to create the storm conditions she was looking for).

  • Given such parameters, we would require a person be a powerful telekinetic with the ability to affect a wide range of environmental conditions with precision to create weather-like effects over a vast area.

The pseudoscience around Storm's abilities are no more satisfying than any of the other X-men's so she is in good company.

See Also:

Is there a set limit on mutant abilities, where they're deemed too unrealistic?

How do the mutant levels correlate with the mutant classifications?

  • Her generation of lightning could also be her telekenesis exciting the air molecules to create friction and build up a static charge – Monty129 Jul 5 '13 at 20:08
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In nervous system, there's flow of electric signals in neurons which create weak electromagnetic field (Its scientific thing applicable to any human body).
Storm could have control over it. With a powerful controllable electromagnetic field, she can charge air to make it hot which would create pressure differences to support wind flow, tornado etc. Lightning is powerful electrostatic discharge which is supported by same thing. Rain can be explained on the same basis if target is moisturized air.

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(Answering my own question after some research)

According to http://marvel.com/universe/Storm:

Ororo Monroe is the descendant of an ancient line of African priestesses, all of whom have white hair, blue eyes, and the potential to wield magic.

So her powers have mystical origins (similar to the Juggernaut and a few other characters in the Marvel universe).

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    Or, her family have always been mutants, and the surrounding culture tended to treat that as magic. – Tynam May 29 '12 at 12:42
  • @Tynam Searching this page for "magic", it indicates there were storylines confirming potential for actual magic, not just mutant abilities perceived as magic. Also seems to indicate that this is separate from her mutant abilities and does not power them – Izkata Sep 18 '14 at 0:52

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