3 outrageous ideas to stop a hurricane that will never work

No, you can't just nuke a storm

By Candace Campos - Meteorologist
Getty Images

ORLANDO, Fla. - No one wants a hurricane to hit their area, but once the storm is on its path there's nothing that can be done to stop it.

Still, that won't keep some people from trying, or at least joking about all the ways they could try.

Below is a list of some of the most ridiculous hurricane deterrents being proposed through Facebook events and viral memes, and News 6 meteorologist Candace Campos' explanation of why these half-baked plans are destined to fail.

1. Drop giant ice cubes or dry ice in the eye:

Some people think that hurricanes, which are fueled by heat, could be destroyed by simply dropping ice into the eye of the storm. Unfortunately, this idea is useless. As soon as the ice is released, those cubes or particles instantly become a nucleus around which more moisture from the storm freezes. This produces even larger droplets. When the ice reaches warmer sections of the atmosphere, it melts and falls as big rain droplets. 

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Some scientists have speculated that it would take about 12 million kilograms of ice to cool a storm by 1 degree. And that is assuming all the ice stays completely frozen on the flight.

2. Nuclear bombs:

One of the most popular ideas is to drop a nuclear bomb to obliterate a storm from the inside out. This plan has been brought up so much that the Hurricane Research Division has even explained the plan’s shortcomings on its website. Researchers compared the energy of Hurricane Andrew’s eye in 1992 to a nuclear power plant. 

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“When Hurricane Andrew stuck South Florida in 1992, the eye and eyewall devastated a swath 20 miles wide. The heat energy released around the eye was 5,000 times the combined heat and electrical power generation of the Turkey Point nuclear power plant over which the eye passes."

They added that "when the time comes when people can travel at nearly the speed of light to the stars, we will then have enough energy for brute-force intervention in hurricane dynamics." 

3. Blowing fans:

During Hurricane Irma, a Facebook event titled “Everybody point your fans at the hurricane to blow it away” was created in hopes of veering Irma from the east coast. This silly idea collected almost 60,000 participants. Some even posting photos of their brave efforts pointing anything from fans to blow dryers towards the east. We won’t take up anymore time on this idea, but it was certainly a comedic break from the stresses of hurricane preparations. 

As thoughtful as some of these ideas are, they all fall short due to the size and power of tropical systems.

[READ: How to put together a hurricane-ready safe room]

Unfortunately, hurricanes are a natural part on this planet. Every weather phenomenon has a purpose.

Hurricanes, fronts, highs and lows all come together to balance the earth's energy and temperature, so stopping one of these vital components could have lasting effects down the line. 

The best option is not to try to destroy these systems, but just learn to coexist better with them by making sure you're informed and prepared.


 

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