Hurricanes, the Physics and Analysis

A Credible Approach to Hurricane Reduction

  • It is well known that Hurricanes rapidly lose their power near the end of their existence, and that a primary method by which this occurs is in the spalling off of many tornadoes.   Each tornado can carry away several percent of the total rotational kinetic energy of a hurricane.

  • Several possible methods might exist where human efforts might be capable of causing such rotational hurricane destabilization and resulting spalling of tornadoes, far before landfall while hurricanes are still far away, out in an ocean.

  • If any of these approaches shows experimental potential, it might be possible to entirely eliminate the danger of hurricanes and typhoons forever.

  • These concepts resemble the concept of how an opera singer can sing a specific sustained note, from across a room, which can cause internal destructive resonances within the structure of a fine-quality wine glass to inspire the glass to self-destruct.   The voice is nowhere near loud enough to provide enough audio power to destroy the glass, and it is the consistency of the singer's note (frequency) which can cause the molecules of glass to start vibrating and to have that vibration self-amplify where it can cause the glass to de-stabilize and shatter.

  • I believe I have found that the same type of audio power, provided from a safe distance outside of a hurricane, might cause the smooth circular rotation of a hurricane to become de-stabilized, where smaller tornado-like circulations might develop inside a growing hurricane.   This might then both take energy from the hurricane's circulation and also de-stabilize the smooth rotary motion of the entire hurricane.   These concepts are based on generating "sonic booms" in ways where they self-amplify.   I believe that it is possible to artificially generate sounds which would all arrive at a specific location in a hurricane which might be the loudest sounds ever created on Earth, where a carefully-timed sequence of such shock-waves would hit a consistent location along the hurricane's circumference, repetitively and at the same location and at carefully scheduled times.   For example, if it is found (experimentally) that having an intense sonic boom hit the outermost circulation of a hurricane has some noticeable effect on the overall circulation, it might be found that repeating that shock wave at intervals of exactly 2.57 seconds might have greater and greater effects of destabilization.   In this case, we would try to repeatedly generate such shock waves which would be artificially designed to arrive at that specific target destination every 2.57 seconds.   The intention of this concept is to create a vertical line near the outermost edge of a hurricane which repeatedly caused radially outward-going shock waves from that location.   Nearby smooth rotary circulation of the hurricane would be affected by these repeated air-blasts to force the overall circulation to be pushed radially inward in the hurricane, thereby de-stabilizing the hurricane (and possibly also causing tornadoes to be generated which would remove rotary power from the hurricane).

This concept was Engineered by February 2001

It appears that the "experts" all make a major error in an assumption regarding the beginning of a hurricane (or waterspout, and to some extent, a tornado).   They all seem to insist that there must be initial velocity in the wind, and many also insist that there must be rotation in that velocity.   A video below shows that is not necessary, although it can certainly enhance the effect.   The video shows a dead calm air environment, where hundreds of spinning vortices form. My research indicates that, instead of requiring high velocity air or rotations in that moving air, this genesis occurs entirely because the presence of the water and that the water temperature is significantly warmer than the air temperature.   Water needs to evaporate and then immediately condense into fog droplets to release immense amounts of kinetic energy.   The Physics of it are fairly simple, and easy to calculate, to be able to predict the characteristics of the resulting spinning.   Math examples are provided below.

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This concept was invented and Engineered by February 2001.   This presentation was first placed on the Internet in May 2001.

Hurricane Genesis as suggested by my Research

The warmer ocean water enables a certain mass of water to evaporate every second, which transfers a good deal of energy from the water into the air.   This is primarily from heat energy that is in the water, and the process is somewhat dependent on the air's relative humidity.   This step transfers an identifiable amount of energy from the water to the air, as evaporated water.   Since the air is cooler than the water, the dew point is lower, and if it is between the two temperatures, then some of the water which had just been evaporated now condenses into fog or cloud droplets.   This step releases significant amounts of energy into the air.   Again, this is relatively easy to calculate.   Some of this energy goes into warming the air and making it rise, but the amount of energy released can be much greater than what can be used up in giving kinetic lift to the air.   That remaining amount of energy has to go into rotary kinetic energy of motion of the air (in Conserving Energy).   This is what supplies the energy (in an easily calculable quantity) to drive the circulation of most vortices, waterspouts and hurricanes, which begin over water.

No air movement is required for this process.   In fact, in my Research, I find that they seem to only form when the air is dead calm!

The calculations are easily done, and they nicely confirm the rate of circulation seen in the video. Note that these many circulations began in dead calm air and with no initial rotary motion or incentive at all!   The thousands of spontaneous vortices that I have witnessed seem to have all rotated counter-clockwise, which I attribute to the Coriolis Force due to the rotation of the Earth.   I do not yet know whether any clockwise circulations ever form or what happens to them if they do.

Once a circulation has begun, then the reasoning that is commonly described can have effect, although the supplying of kinetic energy as described here must still remain a primary factor.

De-Stabilizing the Movements of an Existing Hurricane

An entirely unique method might be effective in either stopping hurricanes from first forming or quickly reducing their power once they exist, or both.   A method based on the Physics principle of Resonance, and of Destructive Interference, and in certain applications, specifically a second order Quadrupole Resonance seems certainly worth investigating!   The concept is very similar to using a moderate intensity constant pitch musical note to induce internal natural vibrations in a wineglass, where the wineglass then spontaneously shatters!

The significant factors here are that the musical note is provided from an external, distant location, it is of extremely constant frequency, and that it has nowhere near enough acoustic power to actually shatter the structure of a glass.

That parlor trick only works with a wineglass if the glass is "fine enough" to have well-defined internal resonant frequencies, where an external "forcing" vibration that happens to be at exactly the right frequency can cause an effect often referred to as a magnification factor.   Very small vibrations first form in the wineglass, and as long as the external forcing vibrations continue at exactly the same frequency for a while, the internal vibrations inside the wineglass then keep magnifying or amplifying, in causing an ultimate consequence far in excess of the causative force being provided.

It has long been my belief that the circulations of hurricanes contain pure enough resonant frequencies to take advantage of this sort of approach.   One resonant frequency is obviously the rotation rate of the entire hurricane, but there appear to be smaller (and therefore faster) resonant structures inside each hurricane.

It has long been known that once a hurricane goes over land, its strength rapidly degrades and also that a lot of tornadoes are reported.   No one seems to have ever connected these two facts, but I believe they are intimately related.   Each tornado that spawns off of a hurricane immediately carries away a good deal of the rotational energy of the hurricane (as kinetic energy of rotation of the spawned tornadoes), which then rapidly locally dissipates as the tornadoes disperse.   No one has ever been able to accurately measure the power in a tornado, and they also occur in many different strengths, but rough calculations suggest that a tornado may contain on the order of 500 million horsepower.   Below, we will discuss estimates that the same sort of calculations for a hurricane suggest that its power is likely to be on the order of 10 billion horsepower.   If these numbers are reasonably accurate, then if a hurricane over land spawns off just ten tornadoes (which seems common), that might account for around half of the overall power in the circulation of the hurricane.   It is not known why tornadoes seem to get spawned from hurricanes when over land, but it usually seems to occur very quickly, within the first hour or two over land, and the power of the hurricane is generally seen to rapidly degrade.

Hurricanes over land are generally observed to dissipate power remarkably rapidly, and simple friction with the ground cannot explain the massive reduction in kinetic energy, while the spawning of multiple tornadoes seems to provide such an explanation.   It seems relatively obvious to me that this specific process is a primary one in why hurricanes can lose so much of their strength so very quickly after moving over land.   Otherwise, the hurricane should have retained much of its massive kinetic energy for a far longer period of time.   After all, it took several days for it to grow to the immense size and power it had!   Any analysis of the frictional losses with the land surface show that the energy degradation should be far slower than actually occurs.   I believe this spawning of multiple tornadoes is critically important in the ending of a hurricane.

I see it as a valuable study to do an energy accounting analysis to determine the real-time energy content of a hurricane as it moves over land, and also the energy content of the multiple tornadoes that appear at the fringes of the dissipating hurricane.   I believe it will be found that this explains the Integral diminution of a hurricane over land.

I tried to get this done regarding Hurricane Lili, but government experts had absolutely no interest in doing it!

I believe that this relationship is a potential key to dealing with hurricanes.   Those spawned tornadoes can only begin as a result of some resonant feature of the hurricane.   It would then only be necessary to determine what triggers that multiple tornado formation.   I believe that it may be possible to artificially induce tornadoes to spawn off of a hurricane, earlier in the existence of a hurricane.   If this could be done while a hurricane is still far at sea, it may be possible to degrade a hurricane's strength, or perhaps even entirely disrupt its circulation, causing it to simply fade out of existence, and simply become a tropical depression, far at sea and away from causing damage to people or property.

A 2006 short movie I made of an early morning Creek in dead calm air where thousands of hurricane-like or tornado-like structures form and persist for many seconds!   In this video, I tried to follow one vortex for around 34 seconds.   In the fixed frame, from about the middle of the video segment, it is just to the right of center, but in the video, it starts out near the left edge.   They are much more obvious to the eye than in these videos. You should probably enlarge the video to full screen to best see it.
Creek vortices
Beginning around the Spring of 2000, I have spent dozens of early Spring mornings down next to a forty-foot-wide Creek that passes just behind my house.   Around then, I first discovered that when certain conditions exist, including dead calm air and slow and calm water, hundreds of tiny tornadoes (actually waterspouts) or hurricanes (vortices) develop, often with thirty or more very distinct ones of them simultaneously being obvious on the block-long stretch of Creek that I can easily monitor.   Occasionally, there have been far over a hundred visible at some times, but most of those disappear virtually immediately.

The videotape on the right is of one of the objects recorded for 34 seconds in April 2006.   You may want to enlarge the video to full screen to best see it, where it is first clearly seen beginning toward the left of the screen.   All the "experts" have always insisted that strong and circulating winds, fast moving water and very hot water are required out in the ocean to allow hurricanes to form.   They assume those things to provide the energy which is certainly needed.   But these many thousands of vortices which I get to watch on many Spring mornings, describe an entirely different story!   The air is always dead calm when I can see them (which often happens right after sunrise).   The water is always flowing very smoothly and fairly slowly so there is no spectacular source of kinetic energy there.   The water is warmer than the air, generally by around 10°F or 12°F different, and the humidity is fairly high.

It is fascinating, and I believe it provides an area of research into the starting of hurricanes, waterspouts and tornadoes that no one else yet seems to have considered.   As to hurricanes, warm water is definitely realized as somehow being important, but no one seems to have found out why the warmth is important!   Also, there are always assumptions that moderately strong winds are involved which somehow turn to become circular motion.   These objects above my Creek seem to indicate a totally different explanation, since they only seem to develop when there is dead calm winds!

I believe that in April 2006, I came upon a complete description of how and why the vortices form, including an energy accounting and other mathematics to confirm that it all complies with both the Conservation of Energy and Conservation of Angular Momentum.   I believe that the same process or an extremely similar one occurs in certain parts of the oceans to initiate hurricane formation.   This research has resulted in me concluding that tornadoes cannot form over dry ground, but damp ground is fine.   My reasoning also makes clear why hurricanes would not normally form in other parts of the oceans, including areas that other experts believe should be sources of hurricanes.   I think this logic applies to the formation of tornadoes, waterspouts, and hurricanes.   When I did the math and found that the amounts of energy and power involved appeared to all be very consistent, I felt that I had found the correct explanation for the phenomenon of hurricane formation.

The conditions seen in my research seem to be these:  

I am definitely not a professional cameraman, and the movies I have made of these objects do not really show how starkly obvious they are to the eyes!

There are several observations I have made regarding watching many thousands of these objects, in addition to the conditional issues mentioned above.

The images seem to blink on and off, but that is mostly due to the many trees on the opposite side of the Creek blocking the sunlight's backlighting of the vortices.   I also suspect that if I used some sort of camera filter, the impressive visual appearance might be far better seen in videos.

There seems little doubt to me that this environment can easily be duplicated in a laboratory setting.   Dead calm air, fairly humid.   A flow of somewhat warmed water of around 2 to 4 ft/sec, where the water is very smooth and not disturbed, in a room where the air is at least 10°F or 12°F cooler than the water temperature (and suitable humidity levels) should duplicate the situation.   A spotlight or floodlight could backlight the objects to be able to watch them reliably.   Possibly some camera filters may be appropriate.

In the Spring of 2006, I made several artificial tornadoes inside the basement of my house, maybe a total of about twenty over a month or so.

The conditions present when this videotape was made were:

Date: April 9, 2006
Time: 7:20am to 8:00am local (CDT) time
Air temperature: 34.6°F
Water temperature: 46.4°F
Water speed: ~4 feet/second
Airspeed: Nil, dead calm (confirmed on TV news weather)
Outdoor relative humidity: 78% (per TV news weather)

Another set of videotapes were made on:

Date: May 22, 2006
Time: 7:05am to 7:25am local (CDT) time
Air temperature: 45.7°F
Water temperature: 56.3°F
Water speed: ~3 feet/second
Airspeed: Nil, dead calm (confirmed on TV news weather)
Outdoor relative humidity: 68% (per TV news weather)
Sun altitude around 15°.

Here is the scientific description of the process as I now understand it.

Theory of Formation of Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Waterspouts

(1) WARM water evaporates.   This increases the local humidity.   That process must proceed to a point where the humidity is fairly high.   (2) The warmth causes a small amount of the local air to get warmer, due to the absorbed heat from the water.   (3) The humidity then increases in the cooler air, where it must rise to the Dewpoint, 100% relative humidity.   If the air is cooler still, then the air can no longer contain the entire amount of moisture in it, and (4) so some additional water must condense out on dust particles.   (5) As this additional water condenses out of the air, it releases very large amounts of energy from the Phase Change from water vapor to water droplets.   (6) These two sources of warmth (convection from the water's surface and the heat released in the phase change) causes the air to rise.   (7) The amount of heat released is far larger than the amount of heat which can convert to vertical rise speed.   (8) The excess of this energy also becomes kinetic energy, but energy of rotation rather than rising.   (9) The rotation of the Earth causes the Coriolis Force which causes this rotation to occur in a counter-clockwise direction in the northern hemisphere.   (10) We now have a spinning motion which also slowly rises, where the bulk of the energy that had been removed from the water as heat is now kinetic energy of counter-clockwise rotation.   (11) This phenomenon becomes visible if ambient lighting is sufficient and there are particles in the rotating air where either water droplets or dust particles can be seen rotating.

The mathematical basis for these steps is very simple and straightforward, and calculations generally seem to confirm the Energy Audit regarding velocities observed.

In the Spring of 2002, I went out of my way to try to discuss these matters with the NHC (National Hurricane Center) and related government Agencies, primarily in Florida but also in Colorado, Texas and elsewhere, but they seemed uninterested in the fact that I am a Physicist and instead simply assumed that hurricanes are too large and too powerful for humans to affect.   I believe they may be wrong about that, along the lines of the shattering wineglass mentioned above and below!   However, even if their assumption is right, that we humans are just to puny to affect a hurricane, doesn't it seem at least logical to TRY some fairly simple and inexpensive experiments, in the remote chance it might work?

It has been immensely frustrating to me to watch as terribly destructive hurricanes such as Katrina in 2005 have done such massive damage, where I think there might actually have been a (remote?) possibility of degrading such hurricanes far before they had ever approached land.   Had I somehow been more persuasive in getting government personnel to have interest in my concept, who knows whether Katrina might even have ever existed?   But in my attempts at dozens of visits and interviews in the Spring of 2002, only a single individual was even willing to spend a few minutes to listen to me (after I had spent a week of my time in trying to provide this information to them!)   He was extremely interested and extremely impressed, and he even mentioned that he thought it might have a chance of working.   He then mentioned to me a number of rather hare-brained ideas that their Agencies had previously tried, such as flying cargo aircraft filled with many tons of bags of concrete through the Eye of a hurricane and dumping them, in an apparent attempt at paving over the ocean inside the Eye!   Unfortunately, he ended the interview by mentioning that he was about to retire shortly and that he no longer had any pull around there.   He promised me to try to get some of his colleagues to listen to my concept before he left, but that must not have ever had any effect, as no one ever later contacted me.

By the way, during that same trip in early 2002, I contacted a number of people in and near New Orleans, by phone and by e-mail, including the Mayor of New Orleans and several City Engineers, and also Joe Suhayda, a known researcher on hurricanes who had warned of danger to New Orleans due to hurricanes.   None of those people even responded to any of my phone calls or letters.   But I had then (more than three years before Katrina) attempted to warn them of aspects of their situation where the Physics indicated great danger.   Sadly, no one seemed to have any interest in my concerns then.   I might note that when Katrina hit, it had degraded down to a Category 3 hurricane, and also that it had actually entirely missed hitting New Orleans!   It amazes me that people who later decided to "revise history" portray Katrina as a tremendously damaging hurricane!   It was nowhere near as strong as the hurricane Andrew that devastated Florida or a number of other giants.   Had Katrina actually remained at Category 5 (which it had earlier been) and actually hit New Orleans, the devastation probably would have been far greater than what actually happened.   But I guess all that is "politics" and "spin" where leaders keep insisting that New Orleans will be "rebuilt better than ever", essentially without any funding to actually do it.   However, spending hundreds of billions of dollars more to rebuild that city would be very foolish, as between future, stronger hurricanes and rising sea levels, it may only be 20 years before New Orleans (currently 7 feet below sea level and still protected by those 117 miles of dikes) will be forever abandoned as being entirely underwater.

My contact with New Orleans at that time (early 2002) was not actually regarding hurricanes, but due to the fact that I realized that their situation, of slowly sinking into the recent sediment of a river delta, was very similar to the one where I was then attempting to provide a way for Venice, Italy to actually physically raise their city by around five feet.   In any case, current hurricane research now really has no way to help them.   New Orleans will remain as a very small town, but even that will probably have to be moved to a different location where they will be at a higher altitude, but even that will result in New Orleans never coming back the way we once knew it.

As indicated below, this basic concept regarding enabling hurricanes to become unstable and spontaneously degrade was developed by the beginning of 2001, but in early 2004, two new (simpler) mechanisms were recognized as possible to create the necessary shock waves in the perimeter of a hurricane.   One would be a precise (due to GPS and precise clocks) repetition of a vertical stack of "percussion bombs" (outside the perimeter of the hurricane) to create a vertical-source shock wave to disrupt the smooth circulation flow of the outer hurricane winds. The other is the sequential use of several slightly supersonic aircraft a few miles outside the 50 mph winds of the outer circulation.   The sonic boom caused by supersonic objects like aircraft or bullets is actually a shock wave propagating through the air.   An aircraft with a nose cone angle of 10°, traveling at Mach 1.1, creates an extremely intense pressure shock wave, as much as 4 PSI, or 100" of barometric pressure, around 68° out away from the tail centerline.   If a supersonic aircraft followed a very specific, fairly tight smooth level, inward logarithmic spiral turn, the resulting continuous shock waves become closer together in the air inward along the radius of the turn.   It is possible to shape that logarithmic spiral path so that the sonic boom shock waves from as much as 45 seconds of the supersonic aircraft's flight can all be made to arrive at a desired location a few miles to the side at the same instant, creating an extremely intense (vertical line) shock wave at that single location.   Depending on how precisely the aircraft could follow the logarithmic spiral path, an incredible sound intensity could be generated, mathematically around 220 decibels, quite possibly the loudest sound ever heard on Earth!   This single wavefront of such extremely loud low-frequency sound exists as a compressed-air shock wave.     By following that specific curved path, the natural 4 PSI pressure of a sonic boom shock wave might be increased to over 30 PSI, in that single planned target destination inside the periphery of the hurricane.   The premise is that that instantaneous local pressure increase would compress and then expand the air at that location, suddenly creating new air motions at rather high velocities, which we might pre-design.   If that were possible, then it might be possible to repeatedly (with additional supersonic aircraft at very specific intervals to create a resonance) generate such localized air motions to try to disrupt the circulation motions of the hurricane.   It is also possible for the aircraft to follow a course of slightly greater radius turn, or a possibly a horizontal somewhat hyperbolic path, to cause a broader (in time) shock wave to appear there, which has the effect of being at a lower frequency.   This sudden blast of hurricane-radially-inward wind would act to drive some of the hurricane's winds farther inward, disrupting the normal circular flow, causing ripples to form in the circulation, and somewhat de-stabilizing the hurricane.   Several such aircraft would be flown to create repetitive sonic boom disruptions in the same position in the hurricane, to try to inspire the wineglass-like self-destruction of the hurricane.

Every year, dozens of hurricanes (and Pacific typhoons, which are the same thing) do enormous damage in lives and property in several parts of the world.   They are enormous, being many miles in diameter, and they have phenomenal amounts of energy and power.   Over the years, many speculative concepts have been proposed to try to deal with them, but any such efforts would not be like David and Goliath, but a flea and Goliath.   The most powerful machinery that we have fades into inconsequentiality in relation to the size and power of even a moderate hurricane.   A "brute force" approach has no chance of succeeding, even though some very creative and intriguing ideas have been presented and considered.

A very rough estimate of the amount of kinetic energy in a mature hurricane is around 1018 joules, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules.   As a comparison, if every one of the hundred million operating cars in America were run at absolutely full throttle, they all would have to run like that for about 20 hours straight to produce that much energy!   That gives a rough idea why traditional methods of Engineering would have no noticeable effect on a hurricane, because of the enormous size and strength.   All that energy cannot just be made to disappear, but must somehow be dissipated (be converted to other forms of energy, primarily frictional heating of other air).

Current research into hurricanes seems to focus on the central areas, where the winds are highest, near the "eye".   However, even superficial calculation shows that the majority of the actual kinetic energy contained in a hurricane resides in the huge outer areas.   Even though the winds are slower there, the vast quantity of moving air carries most of the energy of movement.   This fact has therefore encouraged this new approach at degrading a hurricane, by attempting to cause disruptions, destabilizations, in the perimeter of the storm, to cause energy to be dispersed there (probably as tornadoes spawned off).

This involves no attempt to "over-power" the hurricane!   Rather, it uses the energy that is already in the hurricane by encouraging some of that energy to get "out-of-phase" with the main circulation of the hurricane.   This out-of-phase energy becomes disruptive, with the intended result to create many (small) tornadoes which remove kinetic energy from the main circulation of the hurricane.

It has long been noticed that, in the late stages of a hurricane's existence, many (brief) tornadoes often appear along their borders.   Such tornadoes have extremely fast-moving winds, but their relatively small size means they contain only a fraction of the energy of a hurricane.   They each therefore remove fairly large amounts of rotational energy from the hurricane in very short periods of time.   These tornadoes are clearly a very energy-expensive aspect of hurricanes, and they are never seen early in the life of a hurricane.   My interest is to try to use this existing natural phenomenon, but to artificially inspire it to occur much earlier in the life-sequence of a hurricane!

If this tornado-spawning process can be artificially induced, well before a hurricane approaches land, large amounts of the circulation energy should be removable from the hurricane by this process, and the hurricane would then necessarily be degraded in strength.   No one could know or plan where the tornadoes might form or where they might go, so it would be critically important to do this process far from all land and human activities.   However, the advantage is that tornadoes have very short lifetimes, and never travel very far before self-degrading due to frictional losses, where the main hurricane would have damage-creating potential for many days over a very large region.

It is here believed that this effect of tornado-spawning once over land is a primary reason why many hurricanes degrade so very quickly when they are over land, because so much rotational energy is dissipated to the many tornadoes.   The kinetic energy or rotation of the hurricane cannot just disappear, so it must be converted into other forms of energy, almost certainly being frictional heat energy in the air.   This seems to imply that the air temperature must rise as a hurricane degrades.   Beginning in 2002, technology has become capable of monitoring this data over the entire region of a hurricane, so this premise should soon be proven or disproven, assuming that someone decides to measure it!

The speculation here is that a hurricane that can be artificially caused to spawn hundreds of such tornadoes (while still over the ocean) might thereby quickly give up substantial amounts of its kinetic rotational energy to those tornadoes and the hurricane remaining would thereby rapidly get weaker.   Once separated from the hurricane, each tornado would soon lose its kinetic energy by normal friction to the surrounding air.   That two-stage process would therefore accomplish dissipating a great deal of energy rather quickly.   This seems like a possibility worth looking into.

One way or another, when a hurricane disappears, all that kinetic energy of rotation must become converted into frictional heating of local air and ground.   It has long been believed that friction with the ground is a major cause of the relatively rapid diminution of a hurricane's strength when over land.   However, the resulting increase in that ground's temperature would be significant, due to the enormous amount of kinetic energy which must be dissipated.   Clearly, the creation of peripheral tornadoes, which quickly dissipate and therefore give up their rotational kinetic energy into frictional heating of the air, must also represent a significant method of hurricane energy reduction.

This concept is here seen as a significant possibility regarding how to remove large amounts of energy from hurricanes, to inspire them to spontaneously spawn tornadoes earlier in their existence.

It seems prudent to try to deal with a hurricane well before it nears any land, out in the open ocean.   For one thing, it then has less total kinetic energy of rotating winds to try to dissipate.   We wish to (externally) cause small turbulences in the outer circulation of it, with the intent of encouraging it to form those tornadoes at that time.   Being away from land and people, such tornadoes would not cause any damage, but they would collectively remove large amounts of kinetic energy from the hurricane circulation, thereby weakening it.   The premise of this application is that if hundreds of such tornadoes could be artificially spawned from a hurricane, the remaining kinetic energy would be greatly reduced, either degrading or dissipating the hurricane.

There are several other possible applications of this concept, mentioned below, but this tornado-inducer might be the simplest of them.

The New Concept

Everyone knows that a fine wineglass can be placed in a room, and a standard stereo speaker (or even a singer) placed several feet away from it, and by emitting a very specific pitch of sound from the speaker (or singer) the wineglass can eventually shatter. An important consideration is that the sound does not have to be deafening loud, and a rather moderate loudness can shatter some glasses. The glass does not immediately break, but it gradually builds up internal vibrations that destroy it internally.

What IS important is that the tone of the emitted sound be extremely constant and at a very precise frequency, which is dependent on characteristics of the specific wineglass. A standard engineering design principle, called "forced vibration", explains this action. Each arriving air shock wave causes a tiny shock wave to form within the glass, which then proceeds across the glass to the other side where it reflects back to the starting point. If each new arriving wave it timed very carefully, to match vibrations that have already been started within the glass and which are oscillating back and forth across it, the net effect is a gradual increasing in the actual amplitude of the vibration of some areas of the glass. At some point, the localized vibrations grow to become so intense that the very structure of the glass is destroyed.

A similar but less spectacular example is when a guitar is placed in front of a loudspeaker of a stereo system. If a long constant note is in the music, one or more of the guitar strings can start to vibrate, seemingly magically. It is really just Forced Vibration. Guitar players sometimes make use of this phenomenon and simply call it feedback.

Think of an even simpler example of "forced vibration" where you push a child on a playground swing. If you would randomly time your pushes, not much would be accomplished, but if you select your timing, your small pushes will gradually get the swing to traveling very high. You could never have gotten the child and swing going that high with simple "brute force"! You have recognized and used a natural resonance of the swing to accomplish big swinging.

In a way nearly identical to the wineglass and loudspeaker, now imagine a hurricane and a specially outfitted ship a number of miles away from it. The ship has a mechanism to create shock waves in the air, effectively extremely low frequency sound waves, at a frequency that is determined by the characteristics of the hurricane size and rotation. With just moderate (achievable) power in those emitted sound waves, a gradual, cumulative effect would develop within the hurricane, causing internal disruptive "vibrations", de-stabilizing the peripheral circulation of the hurricane in a way relatively similar to the wineglass shattering. (There is no attempt or intention to immediately affect the central motions of the hurricane, but only an attempt at "peeling off" or developing sub-sub-sonic turbulence in the outer portions of the circulation.)

This simplified description is of the more crude of two potential mechanism methods (which we shall call a monopole resonator). Following the logic above, one sees that it is certain to work, but the turbulences that are introduced into a hurricane might tend to be random, and the exact manner of dissipation would have some uncertainty. This may or may not involve some safety considerations. A more sophisticated quadrupole resonance method would be more difficult to arrange, but the result should be a very "organized" degradation of the hurricane, in known and consistent ways, with no dangerous surprises lurking.

Another simple method seems possible to accomplish the same thing. If a series of sturdy aircraft stay near the outer edges of a hurricane, each having GPS (global positioning system) equipment and a supply of "percussion bombs", a similar result might be achieved. Percussion bombs resemble the loudest "bombs" in a fireworks display, where a single very loud shock wave is created. If the aircraft could arrange to be dropping larger percussion bombs at precisely equal intervals in the same position in a hurricane, a series of shock waves would be created. If the timing (frequency) was carefully selected regarding a natural frequency of the hurricane circulation, a Forced Vibration resonance might be generated. The only hazard in this method is that if a tornado suddenly developed unexpectedly, one or more of the aircraft might be in danger.

Yet another and even simpler approach was mentioned above, involving a series of slightly supersonic (Mach 1.1) aircraft. Each would follow a level course, first paralleling the counter-clockwise rotation of the hurricane. At a specified location, the aircraft would turn outward (right) to a direction at about 45° from a radius line to the center of the hurricane, and then immediately make a fairly tight (around 1.5 G) (radius around 5 miles) turn (left) toward the hurricane. The ideal path seems to closely resemble a logarithmic spiral, but other path shapes might also have merit. Once the aircraft has gotten to the point of moving in a direction about 45° inward of tangential, the aircraft would turn right and leave the area. The desired result of this is that the resultant sonic boom from around 45 seconds of flight would all arrive at a single vertical target line destination, around 5 miles radially inward, simultaneously. Aircraft researchers call this a superboom. As mentioned above, the shock wave that is created by a supersonic aircraft at low speeds such as Mach 1.1 is intense, creating a momentary pressure differential of around 8" of atmospheric pressure at the aircraft. Pressure differentials drive wind motions. The premise is that a continued substantial over-pressure, or even drastic fluctuations in local air pressure, in that one target location would artificially create local winds that would travel outward in all directions. These artificial air motions would represent disruptions to the general circulation of the hurricane. This approach should therefore inspire irregular motions in that circulation. If several such supersonic aircraft would follow each other through that flight path, each 45 seconds later, a continuous disruptive effect must certainly occur. It is hard to see how the orderly circulation of the hurricane could continue with this effect occurring. Additionally, if specific resonances of the hurricane have been recognized, the aircraft could follow slightly hyperbolic paths, and their interval spacing could be arranged to inspire more effective disruptions of the circulation due to magnification of those natural resonant motions of the hurricane.

More Technically

Any object that is moving with a relatively regular repetitive motion, has a set of "natural frequencies". In general, some frequencies tend to be dominant, and they can usually be determined with standard engineering principles. This premise includes rotating objects.

From a Physics perspective, a rotary motion like the circular motion of air in a hurricane, can be considered to be a vibration in two directions, with what is called two degrees of freedom, ninety degrees out of phase with each other. As such, standard engineering analysis of vibratory motion can be applied, including analysis of factors that enhance or degrade that vibratory motion. (Some of the mathematics for this are included later in this article.) This can allow standard resonance concepts to be applied. The engineering concept of "forced vibration" seems especially important, particularly in the natural formation of a hurricane. Such forced-vibration resonances must certainly be instrumental in first enabling a hurricane to form and grow, because a non-resonance situation (i.e., without a "magnification factor") would naturally quickly dissipate the rotary energy as peripheral frictional losses with slower exterior air. Only a resonance situation seems to permit the meta-stable growth of such rotary motion beyond a few seconds.

Energy Analysis of the Beginning of a Hurricane

Regarding the beginning and growth of hurricanes, there is another consideration. The energy content estimate mentioned above is roughly 1015 Btus of kinetic energy. Current hurricane research seems to assume that the development and growth of a hurricane occurs due to energy conversions (from heat to kinetic energy) within the eye area. A rough energy audit can examine this premise. There are only two available sources of energy, direct energy from sunlight, and energy in water evaporated from the ocean.

No physical process has perfect efficiency, so if sunlight was the primary energy source, even much longer time would be required. In addition, there is always the frictional energy loss at the perimeter of the circulation that constantly dissipates energy. However, from genesis to maturity, hurricanes tend to take less than 1/10 of that time. This suggests that sunlight energy is NOT the primary source of energy for hurricanes. But the amounts of energy which can be transferred directly from water to the air by evaporation can be far larger, and are easily sufficient to provide all the energy seen in hurricanes. The thousands of vortices that I have watched form and disappear seemingly instantly in calm air over rather calm water seem to confirm this assertion.

The enormous amounts of energy transferred from the water to the air by this evaporation is partially used up in giving upward kinetic velocity to the air, making it rise. But that can only consume a small portion of the energy which is being provided. If the energy remains as water vapor, that energy is not released, but if temperature and humidity conditions are such that the water vapor might condense into cloud/fog droplets, truly immense amounts of energy are then released into the air, far more than can be used up in giving the air upward velocity. This results in MOST of the energy being converted into Kinetic Energy of ROTATION. Calculations seem to confirm that this is a realistic hypothesis.

I have done this analysis for hundreds of individual vortices that I have watched. I would first calculate the amount of water that could evaporate from the warm water in the size of the footprint of the vortex. Then I would calculate how much energy had to be released when that water vapor would condense into water droplets. Then I would calculate the amount of kinetic energy consumed in the vertical motion seen in the entire structure. And then, assuming Conservation of Energy, the remainder of the energy audit was calculated as giving rotary kinetic energy to the vortex. In virtually all cases of such calculations, the calculated spin rate was very close to the observed spin rate! This seems to be solid experimental evidence that this explanation is valid.

My research suggests that Resonance considerations might be applied to an existing hurricane to incrementally degrade its strength, and thereby cause it to dissipate. With careful planning, it should be possible to artificially introduce destructive harmonic resonances into the outer portions of an existing hurricane, to cause it to eventually break apart into disorganized motion (or into the aforementioned spawned tornadoes), and therefore dissipate. Such efforts would have to recognize that continued effort, at extremely sharply defined frequencies, would likely be required for extended periods, in order to enable the gradual growth of the (desired) self-destructive resonances within the storm's outer circulation. At first, such efforts would appear to have no effect whatever, but gradually, the artificially induced harmonic resonances would "magnify" if introduced at the precise correct frequencies and phase angles. This is in similarity with the effect of constant pitch sound on a wineglass, where no effects seem to even exist until the process is well along.

Consider, for example, an automobile wheel and tire. The diameter of the structure and the weight distribution defines an engineering quantity called the rotational inertia, I. If a wheel and tire are absolutely perfectly balanced, both statically and dynamically, the wheel could spin (on its axis) at essentially any speed very smoothly. However, if the wheel was even slightly unbalanced, by a fraction of an ounce of mud dried on the side of the tire, the wheel will have a tendency to severely vibrate (wobble) at its natural frequencies. As it happens, standard size and weight automobile tires tend to have a dominant natural (or resonant) frequency at around 60 mph vehicle speed. This situation can cause a fraction of an ounce of mud that dried to one side of a tire to cause the entire heavy automobile to violently shake at one very specific speed. Speeding up or slowing down makes the vibration quickly stop. This situation demonstrates both the natural frequency, and the amplifying effect of an extended period of such forced-vibration and resonance. Such a small piece of dried mud does not immediately cause significant vibration, but over time, at very specific frequencies, the vibration can continue to increase each revolution of the wheel until it is very large.

Have you ever heard a feedback squeal from a Public Address system? This is the same phenomenon, where some extremely minor initial sound, at a specific resonant frequency, began a feedback loop to very rapidly overload the amplifier system.

Around a hundred years ago, a brilliant inventor, Nikola Tesla, had a laboratory in an upper story loft of a building in Manhattan in New York. In one experiment, he had bolted a rather small vibrating device to one of the main structural beams of the building. He started the device vibrating. Apparently, the small device was vibrating at a particularly unfortunate frequency. Over a period of the next few hours, the vibrations he was creating were being transferred to the building's foundation and into the very bedrock under Manhattan. He wasn't even aware of it but for blocks around, people thought an earthquake was happening and many windows broke and a lot of damage occurred to buildings. A number of blocks away, the local Police Precinct was concerned that their building was going to collapse! Many Officers spread out among the community to make sure the people would be safe, and one happened on Tesla, and realized that there might be a connection and ordered him to shut it off. The "earthquake" immediately stopped.

Have you ever seen the short movie of the Tacoma Narrows bridge that started twisting and eventually destroyed itself in a fairly constant moderate wind? No enormous windspeed was involved, but the extended constant wind permitted the narrow bridge structure to begin to resonate at a natural frequency.

In these examples, a rather small repetitive motion eventually caused enormously larger consequences, if it is maintained at a consistent, precise specific natural resonant frequency.

This is essentially the basic concept of both the Monopole and the Quadrupole Resonator in dealing with degrading hurricanes.


Hurricanes come in many sizes, and that affects their natural resonant frequencies. An obvious resonant frequency is the rotational rate of the storm. There are generally others as well. The amount of water vapor in the clouds of a hurricane affects the amount of mass that is circulating around the eye. This affects a quantity called the rotational inertia. The engineering formulas for this are pretty simple, but a really accurate estimate for the resonant frequencies should probably involve a numerical integration of the normal I = mr2 formula for rotational inertia. For a variety of previous hurricanes, calculations suggest that all of the natural resonant frequencies seem to far below 1/300 cycle per second.

Calculations seem to assure that a special method of (externally) radiating infrasonic sound waves at the exact frequency of the hurricane's resonant frequency will work excellently at de-stabilizing the structure of a hurricane. This conclusion is based on the mathematical analysis of this resonance concept and the gradual building effect of its power. The externally presented tone does not appear to have to be especially loud, but the cumulative resonance effect builds over the hours. It is not really the artificially introduced sound that finally destroys the hurricane but rather it inspires an undamped, magnified, harmonic resonance within the hurricane itself which causes it to destroy itself.

The hurricane application is somewhat more sophisticated than those cited examples, but it is actually based on the exact same basic concept. The only thing necessary is to introduce a regular and consistent frequency of VERY low frequency (resonant) sound waves to the hurricane from the outside. The two different methods accomplish the goal in slightly different ways, but gradually, the resonance effect would disrupt the smooth and regular rotating motion of the storm, and the hurricane would essentially self-destruct! There are several possible approaches, including introducing artificial resonance AT the main harmonic resonant frequency but slightly out of phase, or of attacking a higher harmonic frequency to inspire sub-cell rotations of smaller circulations within the main hurricane circulation. This last, for example, could introduce vibratory air motion at one or two octaves above the natural resonant frequency to encourage four smaller circulations to develop within the storm. Once these circulations began to develop, the friction between the airflows of the developed smaller circulations would rapidly drain energy from the storm's circulation, quickly degrading it by essentially using natural resonances to break it into several smaller adjacent storms, which would then destroy each other.

Monopole Resonator

This approach would be very much like the loudspeaker and wineglass. Shock waves would be created by a mechanism on a single ship, which would simply impact with the perimeter of the storm. In the same way that that causes internal vibrations in a wineglass, radial air movements would occur in the outermost layers of the hurricane. By timing the subsequent air shock waves, instabilities in the circular motion develop. Rather than having to increase until the structural strength of the glass was overcome, the effects would very quickly cause minor alterations to the hurricane's airflows.

As the artificial shock waves impinge on the storm circulation, the effects can be of random character, causing localized airflows to have increased or decreased vector velocities in virtually all directions. Or they could be timed to artificially emphasize some natural resonance of the hurricane circulation. In all cases, this effect would be to effectively de-stabilize the storm's circulation, but the subsequent pattern of the storm's behavior would be uncertain.

Several possible resonant frequencies could be tried with this method. One interesting possibility is related to how quickly the effect of our shock wave impacting the perimeter of the storm takes to disappear. That "rebound effect" certainly exists. If we sent in shock waves that were timed to match that impact/rebound cycle time, a very effective perturbation effect could be accomplished. The outer edges of the storm would then quickly become unstable, no longer moving in circular paths but in wavy paths, which would both use up energy from the storm and inspire turbulent spalling of smaller storms (possibly such as tornadoes) that would remove substantial amounts of energy from the storm.

Quadrupole Resonator

This approach requires two identical ships with their mechanisms, spaced apart a specific distance. These two ships would create their subsonic shock waves at the exact same frequency, but exactly out-of-phase with each other. The result of these pulse trains arriving at the perimeter of the hurricane would be the standard Physics phenomenon of an "interference pattern".

An interesting consequence of such an interference pattern is that there are locations where a "second order" effect occurs, that of a net LATERAL motion of the air molecules. The two ships would each be having the effect of being Monopole sources, which each would act to degrade the hurricane as described above. But, with careful planning, this quadrupole effect would introduce a pulsed lateral acceleration or deceleration in the winds at the perimeter of the hurricane.

By being able to introduce planned tangential velocity gradients into the winds along the perimeter of a hurricane, it would be possible to carefully control the entire process of degrading the hurricane. However many smaller circulations were inspired would be at the choice of the engineer, and so either a series of small "cells" could be "spalled off" of the main body of the hurricane, slowly degrading it methodically, or larger disruptions could be introduced to break it apart in just a single step.

Being able to produce such lateral air motion, at a distance, and at a specific frequency, is the center of this Quadrupole resonator concept. By timing the created wave pulses properly, and spacing the two ships properly, nearly any desired sequence of attrition could be arranged.

A single pulse like any of these would have irrelevant effect. The entire premise is based on the Forced Vibration design engineering concepts, where repetition of those pulses at frequency rates that matched natural frequencies (or harmonics) of the hurricane create a cumulative effect, due to the exact same physics principles that enabled the formation of the hurricane in the first place.

Possible Physical Apparatus to Accomplish This

A reasonably likely scenario for either configuration might involve either one or two (ocean-going) very stable barges, possibly unmanned, maybe a mile apart, and a number of miles away from the perimeter of the hurricane. For the moment, imagine that they would each have an identical vertical rigid sheet surface that would look roughly like a rigid sailing ship sail. Each of these hypothetical barges would have a mechanism much like the steam catapults on aircraft carriers, to rapidly slide the whole sheet forward and backward. The barges would both have their bow pointed toward the same point on the perimeter of the hurricane.

As the large flat surface would move forward and back, it would be acting like an enormous stereo speaker, a REALLY low frequency "woofer" like in a stereo system, with very high effective audio power. Calculations (regarding an early, immature hurricane) suggest that the barges could each oscillate their sheets forward and back at about five minute intervals (or some fixed multiple of that, to create higher order harmonics of the basic natural frequency). The actual timing would be dependent on the characteristics of that particular storm.

There are some unknowns here, and laboratory tests on small scale artificial hurricanes should quickly confirm whether the most effective frequency would be the natural frequency, or half of it, or double it.

(The hurricane's resonant frequency changes with time, becoming lower as it grows larger and includes more rotating mass. It is fairly easily calculable using standard Physics equations.)

The results of the movements of these moving surfaces would feel just like gusts of air, but recurring at very precise intervals. For complicated reasons, the two barges would do that action "180 degrees out of phase with each other" (and that is the 'Quadrupole' part of the concept). The two extremely low frequency 'sound sources' would develop their "interference pattern" at a distance. A major desired effect of this (Quadrupole approach) is a regular, periodic lateral movement of the air at the distance where the perimeter of the hurricane was. (If they had been 'in-phase' this effect would generally not exist). That induced (distant) lateral pulsating air movement is what primarily acts to disrupt the hurricane, without any mechanism having to actually be within it. The resonant relationship between the frequency of that repeated movement and the natural frequency of the hurricane is what allows the "amplification effect" to gradually grow more and more effective in disrupting the hurricane.

The amount of power generated in the artificial sound waves is infinitesimally smaller than the power in the hurricane itself. This comparatively low power activity of the barges would gradually have a greater and greater effect on the hurricane, because of the resonance between the hurricane and the barge oscillators. As long as the proper frequency is used, the effect would eventually be disruptive to the circular flow of the hurricane, and it would either not initially form or it would disperse.

This is all technology and machinery that is currently available!

The math and engineering behind this is all pretty simple and straightforward. Any decent engineer should be able to confirm these statements. Just based on the above, it should be possible to do the math of the physics and engineering that confirms it, and to design and build suitable equipment.

An Even Better Mechanism

Barges and movable rigid sails are probably not the ideal mechanisms, primarily because of damage they would likely take from the hurricane winds. This concept could use a number of other various mechanisms to accomplish the creation of the sub-sonic sound waves. A seemingly obvious possibility, with such low frequencies involved, might involve accurately timed "fireballs" which could be created above each barge. The rapidly expanding gases of the air and the combustion products (expanding because of the sudden heat present, when all gases expand) would create a sub-sonic shock wave which would propagate outward in all directions. This is essentially the same process where thunder occurs as a result of lightning rapidly heating and expanding air.

While attending a wild-west display at a Great America park in the 1990s, they fired a number of large fireballs for dramatic effect. We were sitting around 200 feet away from where the fireballs went off, but we clearly experienced two effects, a blast of heat AND a brief rush of air! This last, the rush of air, was a direct result of the shock wave generated as the air at the fireball rapidly expanded (Ideal gas law) as it heated from 70°F up to over 2,000°F. THAT physical shock wave of air motion is the center of this concept.

An even better configuration of such a concept might be to mount a number of vertical gas supply pipes in a slightly curved line, essentially down the centerline of the barge, with orifices along their whole heights. When gas valves were opened, there would suddenly (and momentarily) be a thin "wall" of combustible gas. When ignited, a momentary "wall of fire" would light up. This would cause rapid heating and expansion of the nearby air, creating a very large and powerful PLANAR sub-sonic audio shock-wave that is desired.

This nearly flat shock waves would propagate outward toward both sides, so there would be no rolling reaction to the barge as a result. There should be value in putting the vertical pipes in a very slight arc rather than in an exact straight line. If the concave side of that structure was toward the hurricane, the curvature could act to (optically) "focus" more of the subsonic waves' power into a narrower destination target, to improve effectiveness.

Such barges should certainly have stabilizers, so that the orientation of the created shock waves in the air was consistently maintained.


It would be possible to erect such a line of vertical gas pipes out in the desert. A person or sensor could sit in a chair five or ten miles away, at the center-point of the slight curvature of the array. When the (distant) wall-of-fire is ignited, it might be visible as a brief flash on the horizon. Then, if the concept works as expected, the person or sensor would feel an intense gust of wind maybe a minute later. If enough power was generated, and if the focusing effect performed acceptably, and if the frictional losses in those miles were not too severe, that single gust of wind would hopefully be of at least gale force. If such an effect can be accomplished, from several miles away, the concept seems almost certain to work at de-stabilizing a hurricane.

Physics of Hurricane Formation

No one yet really understands how and why hurricanes form. Logically, any circulating flow of air should experience frictional energy losses in moving past stationary exterior air. This is why the vast majority of "dust devils" and other small scale vortices dissipate in a matter of seconds. Larger scale vortices, such as the common weather cyclones and anti-cyclones, persist longer, but still eventually succumb soon to these frictional losses.

Obviously, there is something unique in the formation of a hurricane, which overcomes this natural effect of energy dissipation. Whatever those unique characteristics are, they certainly rely on an effective application of a (natural) forced vibration and its resonant effects. A hurricane does not form instantly. It gradually grows in size and strength and intensity. This is an example of the physics concept of amplification (magnification) at a resonant frequency, like in the public address amplifier 'feedback loop' example mentioned above.

Since hurricanes must then necessarily FORM due to an extended exposure to resonant effects that magnify their power and intensity, this approach is meant to use the same concept against them! At very early stages in their development, an assortment of approaches might be effective, from introducing out-of-phase rotational energy AT the natural frequency (in an application of the Quadrupole approach) to introducing entirely different resonant frequencies, either near the resonant frequency or at harmonic multiples of it (with the intention of driving the storm formation into several other, smaller circulations, so that the large later hurricane could not form).

The bulk of this presentation is based on the assumption that an organized circulation has already formed and must be dealt with. Once the resonance effect has begun to substantially magnify, attempting to modify the natural frequency is very difficult, and so the basic approaches described here focus on the fact that the natural frequency is already well established. With this fact given, the methods described above seems most likely to best reduce or dissipate the storm. As has been noted though, a number of variations could be tried, to see which approach most effectively de-stabilized the hurricane. It might even be that different approaches are most effect at deterring the initial formation of the storms and at de-stabilizing well-established ones.

As should be obvious in all this, since a hurricane initially takes many hours of stable resonant conditions in first forming, it would also certainly take quite a few hours of introducing detrimental harmonic resonant energy in order to degrade it.


A more technical presentation of this is that in standard engineering, a forced vibration. In the field of Engineering, the mechanically destructive effects of resonant vibrations due to forced vibrations are analyzed. The differential equations of motion of an object having a natural frequency of ωn while being forced by an exterior force acting at a frequency defined by ω, can be written in the form of:




The solution to thess differential equations can be written in the form of:




where e represents a variable generally called eccentricity (but which has a different meaning than the astronomical meaning of the term).

One can see that if the forcing frequency were exactly the same as the natural frequency, the denominator goes to zero and the amplitude of the oscillatory motion therefore goes to infinity. In mechanical systems, this is akin to the situation when a device disintegrates due to unexpected vibrations. These equations are for the situation for a system which has no damping factor, which cannot actually occur in any real mechanical device. However, the general theme of this reasoning still applies.

When a damping factor exists, if the forced frequency is exactly the same as the natural frequency, the denominator of the solutions drop to their lowest value, which causes the amplitude of the resulting resonant motion to reach its greatest value, the so-called 'magnification factor'. The limit on the magnification factor is therefore based on the amount of damping present. With minimal damping present, the resulting resonant effect can be extreme. In the case of disrupting a circulating storm, such a very large amplitude would be desirable, in that it would introduce harmonic radial (and tangential) air pulsations into the winds that would normally circulate relatively smoothly.

This all suggests that there are several resultant effects, ALL of which would act to degrade the storm. Introducing repetitive harmonic 'dents' in the exterior of the circulation should act to inspire smaller interior circulations (in a Monopole configuration), with the added benefit of the magnification factor. The 'quadrupole resonance' concept should introduce a modification of peripheral air velocities at certain consistent points, acting to either degrade the circulation (at the natural frequency) or inspire smaller interior circulations (at harmonic multiple frequencies). The 'magnification' factor at certain forced vibration frequencies would act to increase the effectiveness of these degrading efforts.

The 'quadrupole resonance' concept should introduce a modification of peripheral air velocities at certain consistent points, acting to either degrade the circulation (at the natural frequency) or inspire smaller interior circulations (at harmonic multiple frequencies). The 'magnification' factor would again act to increase the effectiveness of these degrading efforts.

There is an additional complication in applying forced vibration technology to hurricane dynamics. It is related to the fact that ongoing genesis of the storm acts to keep replenishing the 'free' or 'natural' circulation or vibration. This does not actually change any of the actions described in this article, but it might alter the exact frequency that should be chosen for the artificially introduced subsonic vibrations. Determining the effective damping factor zeta might therefore have to be empirical. It may even be a 'negative damping' since a hurricane acts to grow in energy at its natural frequency rather than having that energy damped out. In addition, with such uncertainty in the effective value of the damping factor, the magnification factor may also depend on empirical findings. Therefore, optimization of this approach may need to be refined from experimental data, in order to select the most effective forced frequency.

The exact same reasoning and equations can be used to describe the normal growth of a hurricane, where the (naturally provided) forced vibration IS at (or very near) the natural frequency of the growing storm, and so the forced vibration equations would also apply, and the magnification factor explains how a storm could experience the peripheral frictional losses and still grow in size and strength.

Without a 'magnification factor', the natural friction losses at the ocean surface and the outer perimeter would quickly dissipate an initial tropical depression. The 'magnification factor' is a necessary aspect of the natural growth, and it must be substantially above 1.0 in order to provide growth after also counter-acting the frictional losses.

The same calculations and analysis might also explain why standard weather cyclones and anti-cyclones tend to be of relatively consistent sizes, of a few hundred miles across. It seems possible that a forced vibration analysis might 'predict' the approximate size of such relatively stable circulations, given the rotation of the earth and other effects that act on them. If that should be the case, weather forecasting might have another tool available.

The calculations of the disruptive power and effect of the Quadrupole approach is extremely complex, but that for the simpler Monopole approach is pretty straightforward. Imagine a single ship with a row of hollow vertical pipes, say, a foot apart for a 200 foot distance along the length of the ship, and each pipe has around 50 vertical feet of usable length. The line of these pipes should probably be slightly curved, with the concave side facing the hurricane. Solenoid valves would simultaneously open natural gas orifices along the 50 foot length of each pipe, and igniters would flash the gas. A "wall of fire" 200 feet long and 50 feet high would therefore be simultaneously created. As this gas ignites, the instantaneous temperature of the local air would rise to around 3600°F, causing very rapid expansion of that air (by about a factor of eight). This wall of horizontally expanding air would create a "shock wave" in the air, which would then propagate outward. The explosive effect of different fuels has a wide range, but an instantaneous pressure of 50 PSIG is a reasonable expectation. The total force created is area times pressure, or 200 (ft) * 50 (ft) * 144 (sq in/sq ft) * 50 PSI or around 72 million pounds of total force created in the shock wave. That's insignificant as compared to the full power of the storm, but it is enough to cause slight effects to it. By the way, that much torque would roll the ship over, except that an equally powerful shock wave is also propagated off the back side of the radiator array, and since that is slightly convex, its effects would not be concentrated anywhere, and would not be damaging to any nearby shipping.

As that shock wave propagates out, as a simple sudden gust of air, various losses will occur, due to the shock wave spreading and due to frictional losses as it passes through the air. It will be necessary to do experimental tests to determine how much energy remains a mile away and at other distances. It should still be a significant remaining amount of force when it arrives at the perimeter of the hurricane.

Let's speculate for a moment that an effective area at the hurricane's perimeter is comparable to that of the originating source area, mostly due to the focusing effect of the slight concavity of the radiator. Let's also speculate that 99% of the original energy had been lost, and 1% remained. The 720 thousand pounds of remaining arriving force, applied in a quick and even burst in a fairly localized area like that, will impart a RADIALLY INWARD velocity to that portion of the hurricane, of significant size. The effect will be a slight disruption of the otherwise smooth circular flow of the hurricane.

The general circular motion of the storm would soon re-develop, and the time interval for that impact and rebound would represent an important resonance situation. If such pulse impacts continue to be applied at either that frequency or precisely at a simple harmonic multiple of the hurricane's natural frequency, each new pulse will arrive at a location where some residual disturbance remains from the previous revolution's pulse in that exact same spot. After continually pounding the same positions on the perimeter of the storm for many revolutions, the physics of forced vibration and its magnification factor will make the disturbances will grow to have an existence of their own, primarily because of their sharing "growth frequencies" with the storm. (See the equations above) After a hundred or a thousand impacts at the same locus, the effect should become disruptive to the original main storm circulation, since smaller scale internal circulations have been created. The mutual friction of those smaller circulations would then quickly destroy them, too.

In the case of the Monopole Resonator, applied at an impact/rebound frequency, the net effect of an extended series of these impinging waves would be to introduce a designed waviness in the otherwise smooth circular motion of the air. This waviness represents a turbulence, essentially as though the Reynolds number had been greatly increased. Such turbulence is certain to have energy-robbing effects to the hurricane. One reasonable possibility is that "designer-tornadoes" would be spalled off of the perimeter of the hurricane, each removing a substantial amount of energy from the hurricane itself. These tornadoes would be similar to those spalled off of many hurricanes in their normal process of attrition over land. However, since this would be done under controlled conditions, they would intentionally be created far at sea, away from any habitation. The tornadoes themselves would have short lifetimes and would never persist long enough to get to inhabited areas. After having caused the spalling of hundreds of such tornadoes, the remaining rotational kinetic energy and strength of a hurricane should be greatly degraded. At some point of weakness, this process will lose effectiveness, but the hurricane should then have been degraded into a weak tropical depression.

This approach is essentially permitting the hurricane to continue its normal energy intake and growth, but costing it more in peripheral energy losses than it can gain in its normal growth.

In all of these possible configurations, the net desired effect is to convert the enormous kinetic energy of the rotating air mass back into heat energy that it came from initially, by eliminating the resonant benefits of its structure. Without the magnification effects, frictional losses at the perimeter of the circulation(s) would naturally cause this conversion. The result would be a slightly warmed air mass, but without organized motion and away from the environment that is apparently needed for hurricane genesis. This should assure that no new hurricane could then re-form.

I suspect that careful analysis of the dimensions (eye and overall) of a hurricane during its lifetime will show a pattern that matches the predicted resonance frequency requirements for the magnification factor to persist during its growth. This might lead to a better understanding of why hurricanes (and even standard cyclones and anti-cyclones) are able to grow to such large dimensions before eventually succumbing to natural peripheral frictional attrition.

If someone who reads this has access to an experimental hurricane lab, I'd look forward to demonstrating that their artificial hurricane can be disrupted, at a distance, by either a single loudspeaker (configured as a Monopole resonator) or by a pair of standard woofer loudspeakers (configured as the quadrupole resonator) at the proper frequency (provided by a standard audio generator). It is probably clear that such a demonstration could be accomplished at virtually no cost and in just a matter of hours. Considering the countless billions of dollars of property damage, and the many lives lost and disrupted by hurricanes and typhoons, it seems to me that the effort at doing such a demonstration would be worth the effort!

Potential Negatives

As I see it there are only two possible downsides to this effort.

In any case, all I'd like to show is that the concept will disperse an artificial hurricane in a test lab, to demonstrate that the concept works. Upon witnessing that, authorities could then figure out whether they want to actually try it!

NOTE: It seems unlikely that these approaches would be useful regarding tornadoes, because those storms tend to develop rapidly and move very rapidly and there would not likely be sufficient time available to be introducing the destructive resonances that might dissipate them.

Concept developed by February 2001, and first presented in this internet page in May 2001. Attempts were made to present this concept to the National Hurricane Center and other facilities associated with hurricane research in May and June 2002, with occasional strong interest but little overall effect.

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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago