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General Discussion >> Hurricane Ask/Tell

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Lysis
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Reged: Thu
Posts: 451
Loc: Hong Kong
Project storm fury really a failure?
      #42228 - Mon Jul 11 2005 07:07 PM

I was doing some reading on project storm fury when I came to an interesting conclusion. You see, I go to the library everyday at school and read the only in depth book on meteorology that they have: a meteorological compendium that is nearly half a century old. In the text, they talk about the “great promise of seeding”, which is funny in hindsight. I had always thought that the project was a failure, but that is actually far from the truth. During the many flights in the program, a vast knowledge was gained about the eyewall structure of mature hurricanes. It is my understanding that the Storm Fury was canceled for budget and practicality reasons… not because it was proven that the seeding was a failure.
Even if the seeding was only mimicking what hurricanes do naturally all the time, it still cannot be denied that the very process weakens the storm (think about Dennis just before landfall). Since force increases exponentially with wind speed, carefully timed would prove to be advantageous. During the project, I know that a seeding candidate had to be a mature hurricane, and also one that would not hit land any time in the near future (the public thought that the seeding somehow changed the course of the storm). However, at the time, during the 60’s,70’s, and 80’s, we were experiencing a lull in hurricane activity.
Now, with an increase in intense hurricanes and hurricanes in general, along with a more advanced understanding of tropical cyclone dynamics, would it be practical to resume the project? Or am I missing something and was the project truly a “failure” from concept (ie, did it only look like it was working, when a hurricane underwent a cerc shortly after)?

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cheers


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ClarkModerator
Meteorologist


Reged: Wed
Posts: 1710
Loc: 45.95N 84.55W
Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Lysis]
      #42242 - Mon Jul 11 2005 07:46 PM

There actually was a lot of data gained about hurricanes that we did not have before during Stormfury -- consider it a secondary benefit of the project.

The seeding and planned weakening aspect of the program, the primary objective, was a complete failure. And...seeding, if it worked, could change a storm's path. Making a storm weaker makes it susceptible to different steering currents; it's not likely that a substantial change would be realized unless the angle of approach were something like Charley or any of the recurving East coast storms, but changing something from New Orleans to Pensacola is certainly feasible. Making a storm shallower well out to sea could keep it moving west longer, making it a greater threat to land. Just yet another thing that must be taken into consideration...and why you'll likely never see any modification program taken seriously (especially Dynagel and it's 4000 variants).

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Lysis
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Reged: Thu
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Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Clark]
      #42252 - Mon Jul 11 2005 08:26 PM

Not questioning you.. Just curious... but how do we know that it was a complete failure?

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cheers


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ClarkModerator
Meteorologist


Reged: Wed
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Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Lysis]
      #42337 - Tue Jul 12 2005 12:29 AM

Well, it was a complete failure in that whatever consequences it had translated directly to the public, which is a big no-no if you are trying to further your research. It may or may not have had a big impact upon the storms -- and with so many factors influencing storm intensity (and track), many of which were not known back then, we may not truly ever know -- but did have a perceived negative impact on the public, making it a failure at least in that sense.

It might be worth it for someone down the line to go through the database of Stormfury storms, the cases in which known attempts were made to influence the intensity of the storms, and see if any definitive conclusions can be drawn knowing what we do now. There may not be a lot of support for that, though, given the general aversion to weather modification within the community.

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Lysis
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Reged: Thu
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Loc: Hong Kong
Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Clark]
      #42388 - Tue Jul 12 2005 08:15 AM

ok... that makes sense.

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Keith234
Storm Chaser


Reged: Thu
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Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Lysis]
      #42519 - Tue Jul 12 2005 02:58 PM

I dug some information from a book called "Weather" by Mel goldstein.

"In 1963, when Hurricane Beulah was seeded, surface pressure in the eye began to rise and the highst winds were no longer concentrated at the center. In 1969, Hurricane Debbie diminished in intenisty after seeding, but the question always remained whether these changes would have taken place without the seeding. Also the number of hurricanes that have been available for seeding have been relatively few. By 1990, because of mixed, Project Stormfury was abandoned."

I know of some wineries (sp) in Germany (very dangerous hail over there) that employ the seeding method by plane or SAM's(that's pretty cool ). So maybe it does work, i don't know!
Keep in mind it's also an issue of politics and religious doctorines that I am not ready to get involved in. Basically it would be a good science fair project if your dad was the president.

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"I became insane with horrible periods of sanity"
Edgar Allan Poe


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Lysis
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Reged: Thu
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Loc: Hong Kong
Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Keith234]
      #42561 - Tue Jul 12 2005 05:36 PM

In Bob Sheets book it talks about storm fury alot (he was on the project). At one point, a forign country, upon being hit by a seeded storm (it may have been Cuba) declared that we were using seeding to use hurricanes as some kind of weapon(!).

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cheers

Edited by Lysis (Wed Jul 13 2005 09:42 AM)


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Jeff5390
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Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Lysis]
      #64226 - Thu Dec 08 2005 04:24 PM

I am just a curious citizen wondering if there has been any research into technology other than seeding to fight a storm? I was thinking of a sonic pulse or some kind of bomb that has no radioactivity that could be either pointed at a storm to change direction or to be dropped into the eye from high altitudes and separate the wallof the storm from all 360 degrees?????

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CaneTrackerInSoFl
Storm Tracker


Reged: Mon
Posts: 395
Loc: 25.63N 80.33W
Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Jeff5390]
      #64228 - Thu Dec 08 2005 08:27 PM

You would need an immensely powerful bomb to break up a hurricane. I don't think we should even attempt to break up hurricanes. How about spending money on improving forecast equipment, evacuation routes, emergency response, educating the public, etc. I think if think we can control nature than we will doom ourselves. But thats just me.

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Andrew 1992, Irene 1999, Katrina 2005, Wilma 2005



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Ed DunhamAdministrator
Former Meteorologist & CFHC Forum Moderator (Ed Passed Away on May 14, 2017)


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Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Lysis]
      #64232 - Fri Dec 09 2005 09:07 AM

It was Cuba. I have long forgotten the specific storm, but when it was seeded it split into two pieces of energy and one of them hit Cuba. The political uproar was so great that the Project was cancelled.
ED


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Charles Green
Registered User


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Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Ed Dunham]
      #78074 - Sat Sep 08 2007 05:28 PM

Just saw this old posting. Mexico and Cuba both complained about Storm Fury. Here is text from the transcript of a Nov. 4, 2001 broadcast by CNN with Correspondent John Zarrella interviewing Bob Sheets.:

BOB SHEETS, FORMER PROJECT DIRECTOR, STORM FURY: There was a strong push from people to say, "you must go out and seed a storm if it's heading toward Miami Beach. In fact, you're be in derelict of your duties if you don't."

ZARRELLA: But Storm Fury also had critics. The government of Mexico charged that tempering with hurricanes would deprive Mexican agriculture of rain. Fidel Castro fueled anti-American sentiment with accusations that Storm Fury would divert hurricanes into Cuba. And when Hurricane Fifi hit Honduras, there was immediate suspicion that American research was to blame, a charge that was laid to rest.

SHEETS: Fortunately for us, in 1974, when Fifi occurred, we did no flying into hurricanes, period. "


I covered Hurricane Fifi in Honduras as a correspondent for the Associated Press. There are people in Honduras today who are convinced the storm was seeded and that the seeding increased its forward speed , its size and the rainfall.
Chuck


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Dean III
Unregistered




Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: CaneTrackerInSoFl]
      #78268 - Wed Sep 12 2007 12:46 AM

I visited this site because I just heard about Storm Fury.
It would be great to be able to dramatically reduce a storm's intensity.

We can wait till there is little doubt it will hit the US and then commence.

(off topic comments were removed)

Edited by Ed Dunham (Wed Sep 19 2007 07:38 PM)


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Ghost
Unregistered




Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: Dean III]
      #78677 - Wed Sep 19 2007 09:21 PM

A point to ponder... a hurricane is a natural formation and anything that is does is termed "Act of God". As soon as it is tampered with (modified) it would no longer be natural and anything that it does would be the responsibility of the "tamperer"... in Project Stormfury's case, the US Government. We experienced the ire of the Cuban & Mexican governments for political purposes... can you imagine the lawyers, both US and International getting involved with any damage a hurricane would do after modification.

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Sci Am
Unregistered




Re: Project storm fury really a failure? [Re: CaneTrackerInSoFl]
      #79578 - Mon Nov 05 2007 03:47 PM

I was amazed to see new postings to an old thread - started by a person who admirably exercised their ability to read.

I too spend time in the library and found a magazine article in October 2004 that said "Use of weather modification was banned as a weapon by the UN in the 1970's"

The questions then become:
What was the real intent of the project? (not the publicity version)
What abilities to control the weather were actually discovered and used?
To what purpose?


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