Letters to the Editor
TO WEAKEN A HURRICANE
Re: Hurricane Seeding, Speaking Out column, October. 2008.
The Stormfury Project in principle was a decent theory where government scientists thought “overloading” a hurricane with artificially made water vapor would collapse it from too much weight that its structure couldn’t hold.
When I attended Northeast Louisiana University, one of my instructors once worked for the Air Force when Stormfury was in place and he was told the main reason the project ended was uninformed officials in Mexico thought the U.S. government would eventually learn how to steer hurricanes towards their coastlines and Mexico used some rather strong words to “force the U.S.’s hands” into stopping this from “becoming reality.”
I feel the most logical way to attempt the weakening process would be to artificially cool the surface water temperatures, after all the ocean water is warmest on top since obviously it is directly affected by the sun’s rays. Some scientific organizations have experimented with creating adhesive gels that could stick to the surface of ocean water for a certain period of time to help keep the waters under 80 degrees Fahrenheit (the base temperature required to create tropical systems). The main problems here are creating such a product that is environmentally safe, the process by which to spread it across such a wide area, & the incredible amount of said substance that would have to be manufactured to be spread across the warmest waters of the Gulf, Caribbean, and Atlantic Ocean. However, as scientific research continues to advance, hopefully these issues could be resolved.
Another theory that would concern some in the scientific community is this, the Earth is always trying to create an “equilibrium” with its atmosphere based on the basic climate differences from the equator to the poles. Hurricanes are one way that the Earth’s energy continues that process of “balance”. Other ways are via cold fronts, upper troughs, etc.
Some wonder if we try to weaken hurricanes artificially then would we inadvertently cause stronger cold fronts, upper disturbances, etc. that would cause widespread damage elsewhere to make up for the artificially weakened storms?
I am thoroughly glad you wrote this article for it reminds us that no matter where you live in the U.S. there will always be some kind of natural phenomenon of a serious nature that we will have to deal with from time to time. Let’s hope for the best weather-wise and otherwise for us all.
Re: Julia Street, August 2008 issue.
A Mr. Rhymes of Shelby, N.C., wrote to Julia Street asking about an All-Star Band performing at the Municipal Auditorium circa 1944 or ’45.
I’m 84 years old now and lived in New Orleans until 1973, when my airline work closed at MSY and my family and I had to relocate near the DFW Airport – so I have a lot of memories of New Orleans.
The All-Star Band she refers to probably was held at McMain Auditorium, as they had a real fine place, and it was used much by the Public School System.
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