The theory goes that the energy released by a nuclear bomb detonated just above and ahead of the eye of a storm would heat the cooler air there, disrupting the storm’s convection current.

Unfortunately, this idea, which has been around in some form since the 1960s, wouldn’t work. …

A fully developed hurricane releases 50 or more terawatts of heat energy at any given moment, only about 1 percent of which is converted into wind. The heat release, Landsea wrote, “is equivalent to a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes.” The entire human race in 2011 used about a third of the energy present in an average hurricane.

So bombing a hurricane might be about as effective as trying to stop a speeding Buick with a feather.