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The storm bombers are laying low so far.
That’s my term for those who recommend dropping bombs on hurricanes as a means to weaken or kill them.
Usually, in the wake of the first hurricane, they ask why the U.S. government hasn’t considered this tactic. They argue that the cost of nuking a storm certainly would be cheaper than the damage it would leave behind.
Usually, I have to explain what the experts have explained to me: bombs will not disrupt or diminish a hurricane. The reason: All the energy from a bomb burst would simply pass through a storm’s structure.
If a storm were made out of bricks, yes, bombs would be pretty effective. But since they are constructed out of porous air, low pressure and moisture, there is nothing for a bomb to knock down.
Indeed, I once asked Hugh Willoughby, then director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hurricane Research Division in Miami, what would happen if a nuclear bomb were dropped on a hurricane?
His answer: The storm would become radioactive and its power might even be bolstered.
Q: Could a large chunk of ice from the poles be towed into the path of a hurricane to weaken it?
A: As with most hurricane modification ideas, this one is much easier said than done.
Part of the problem is the sheer size of a typical hurricane and the amount of ocean that one traverses in a day. A hurricane with a 30-mile diameter eye, moving at 10 mph, will cover a swath of 7,200 square miles in one day. That would be a lot of ice! And this assumes we know exactly where to place the ice. Quite often the uncertainty in the path of a hurricane can be 100 miles in a 24-hour forecast.
Q: Is trying to modify hurricanes such a good idea after all?
A: Today, scientists are more cautious about trying to modify the weather than they were during the 1960s. Hurricanes, along with other storms and ocean currents, help balance the Earth's heat budget. Trying to change hurricanes could have consequences that no one intended.
Originally posted by Hellmutt
How about cooling it down? Bomb the eye with dry ice. Just a thought...
The Benefits Of Hurricanes
...In fact, meteorologists are beginning to believe that tropical storms may more than offset the damage they cause by the good they do. Scientists already know that in such places as Japan, India, Southeast Asia−even in the southeastern portion of the U.S.−tropical storms provide up to 25% of available rainfall. If this vital precipitation were ever cut off by man's interference with such storms, the results might be ruinous for farmers, industry and drinking-water supplies. Now many meteorologists are becoming convinced that tropical storms have an even more significant and less understood role: they may well be a crucial factor in maintaining the planet's heat balance, which is essential to the well-being of all life.