Did this really need to be said?
As serious as the subject of Hurricane Irma is, no event could take place in this part of the country without at least one appearance by “Florida Man.” And the headline for this one could have come straight out of the Onion. Florida Man Encourages People to Shoot at the Storm. Which of the standard responses should we go with here? What could possibly go wrong? Or What’s Wrong With Florida? And yes, this is an actual story. (Yahoo News)
A Florida man who suggested shooting guns at Hurricane Irma out of “stress and boredom” has found that his idea has captured peoples’ imaginations – with over 46,000 signing up to join in.
Hurricane Irma is due to hit Florida on Saturday, and the state is currently experiencing the largest ever mass evacuation due to a hurricane in American history.
But Ryon Edwards, 22, came up with a novel way of amusing himself during the storm: firing bullets into it…
“A combination of stress and boredom made me start the event,” he told the BBC.
Not to be outdone, somebody else starting a competing group urging people to construct flamethrowers and blast the hurricane with fire to stop it.
As everyone knows, shooting at hurricanes is not how you stop them. It’s also a tragic waste of perfectly good ammo. After Hurricane Sandy hit, Popular Science explored some other ideas for actually stopping a hurricane. One suggestion was to fly supersonic jets through the storm’s wind field and create sonic booms. That should do it!
Hugh Willoughby, a professor at Florida International University and former director of NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, responded: “this is a bad idea.”
Why was it a bad idea? Because the total energy of the storm is, at least according to the professor’s back of the napkin calculations, something on the order of 20 x 10 to the power of 13 watts. Or maybe joules. I always get those confused.
They went through a few other possibilities which included huge funnels to push the warm water toward the bottom of the ocean in front of the storm, seeding the clouds with silver iodide, dropping hydrogen bombs into them and using lasers. The stick-in-the-mud eggheads at NOAA don’t seem to want to try any of them and always come up with some excuse.
Scientific American tackled the problem back in 2009 and they also came up with the idea that you need to cool the ocean water in front of the storm. Unfortunately, nobody has a method of doing that on a scale that could affect, you know… the ocean. On second thought, perhaps I was being too hasty in my response to Florida Man. Sounds like we don’t have any better ideas to offer.