Let’s Nuke a Hurricane!

If you hear anyone suggesting the title of this article at anytime for any reason whatsoever, and I’ve heard several suggestions here and there online in the last month, please… please refer them to this article at aoml.noaa.gov.

An excerpt:

The main difficulty with using explosives to modify hurricanes is the amount of energy required. A fully developed hurricane can release heat energy at a rate of 5 to 20x10^13 watts and converts less than 10% of the heat into the mechanical energy of the wind. The heat release is equivalent to a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes. According to the 1993 World Almanac, the entire human race used energy at a rate of 10^13 watts in 1990, a rate less than 20% of the power of a hurricane.

And that’s not even accounting for environmental damage due to radiation fallout. In any case I still haven’t had the pleasure of reading anyone suggesting we build a nuke with a power output upwards of 20x10^13 watts to combat the threat of hurricanes.

I hope I don’t, cause I don’t believe my spleen can withstand another fit of uncontrollable laughter.

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The energy released by a small nuclear explosion is far higher than the energy released by a large hurricane. The top winds of a category 5 hurricane are around 250 M.P.H. The top wind speed created by a small nuclear explosion exceed the speed of sound. Even small nuclear explosions make the Earths atmosphere hotter than the center of the Sun. Reinforced concreted buildings usually survive large hurricanes. However, the static overpressure of the winds created by a small nuclear explosion shatter solid rock and twist hardened steel.

Hurricanes must have very cold cloud tops in order to maintain their power and structure. Also high speed winds above a hurricane will shear the cloud tops in the thunderstorms of a hurricane. The shearing will damage the hurricanes structure and weaken them. Therefore detonating a thermonuclear device above a hurricane will shear and heat the cloud tops. This will almost certainly weaken if not destroy a hurricane.

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