Many years ago I took a Risk Asssessment seminar with Dr Warner North, a well known expert in the field of Risk Assessment. During the class, he used the example of the US Navy seeding hurricanes in the 1960’s in an attempt to effect their intensity. He claimed that they had some success, but that that there was too great a risk of making matters worse. He was using the example to highlight the risk case of low probability but high impact in a Risk Assessment matrix. He said that they ceased the experiment because of the chance of unintended consequences. Given 50 years of advancement in technology, meteorology, modelling, etc., it strikes me that it would be awfully tempting to try that experiment again. Does anyone know if there’s been any modern attempt to modify hurricanes?
SKYSUMMIT President | Director of OperationsAdministrator
Looks like they seeded with silver iodide and what was initially thought of as successful results were later determined to be natural processes. My original question still remains, though. Given the advancements in many fields, have modern attempts been made?
The whole idea was to seed clouds in the outer bands with silver iodide which would cause the clouds to increase and cutoff the flow to the eyewall storms. This would cause the eye to increase and decrease the winds (much like eyewall replacement we see in strong hurricanes). They had some success, but after a day or so the winds would go back up. The biggest fear was that they did not know how this would effect the motion of the storm, possibly turning it in a different direction. There was also the expense and could only work with hurricanes with a certain type of structure.