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Oct 4, 2016 12:45 PM

This is why nuking hurricanes and tropical storms won't work


Government officials are frequently asked why nuclear weapons aren't used to alter and/or destroy hurricanes and tropical storms.

Well, turns out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration doesn't think it's a very good idea. Using nuclear weapons to try and destroy hurricanes would affect land areas due to the released radioactive fallout, the NOAA said.

The Hurricane Research Division of Atlanta Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) stated that dropping nukes on a storm is "not a good idea." Nuclear weapons might not alter the storm, and if they were released, a radioactive fallout would move quickly due to tradewinds which would affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems.

Another difficulty of using explosives to modify hurricanes, according to AOML, is the amount of energy that would be required due to the large amount of heat energy that the storm releases.

To change a Category 5 hurricane into a Category 2 hurricane you would have to add about a half ton of air for each square meter inside the eye, or a total of a bit more than half a billion tons for a 20 km radius eye.

"Brute force interference with hurricanes doesn't seem promising," AOML said.

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