a snow hurricane

This post may seem contrived given the content versus the current news event of Hurricane Sandy combining with a cold front to bring potentially unprecedented devastation, but I assure you this was written a couple of weeks ago.  It’s ironic because we discussed a snow hurricane, but considered it just rambling because that’s impossible, right?  Hurricanes require warmth to survive, yet this one may produce wintry precipitation with this “100-year-storm” / nor’easter / frankenstorm.  Anyway, enough with the irony… let’s get to the rambling.

Recently we had discussed how to prevent hurricanes, and one of our regular readers had the idea of using some of our existing technology that we’ve already invented.  His suggestion was to use our snow machine to create snow in the Sahara Desert.  (Yes, we have built a snow machine from scratch.  Follow the link if this is news to you.)  Based on just those parameters, it sounds like a win-win scenario, but there’s a flaw in the slaw.  However, I am getting ahead of myself.  Let me first explain his idea.

Of course we’d have to scale up our snow making machine many times, but this can be done given enough funds.  But as you might have already surmised, such an idea has a few logistical issues.  Making snow requires water, which is typically scarce in a desert.  (Yeah, yeah, that goes without saying — it’s a desert.  Duh!)

So this “solution” might be impossible.  But for a moment, let’s imagine the possibilities.  Given enough snow injected into the hurricane-forming cycle, could it create a snow hurricane?  (A snowicane?  A hurrisnow?  We’ll have to work on the name.)  But imagine a snowstorm in the form of a hurricane that comes to the southern U.S. and dumps snow everywhere… that would be awesome!  (For those of you not familiar with the southern U.S., it rarely snows here.  It’s a BIG DEAL when we get accumulation on the ground — schools cancel (sometimes even at the mere forecast of snow), businesses close, and people play in the snow and make snow ice cream.  Here in Arkansas, we rarely get more than a couple inches a year.)  Although, besides the awesomeness of it, there would be collateral damages, and then we’d be working on a way to stop it, so perhaps we aren’t really fixing the problem with this “solution”.  But personally, I’d rather have several inches of snow than several inches of rain, so I’m all for it.

Perhaps we should apply science here instead of just rambling.  (What an idea!)  Hurricanes may start with dry desert air, but they have to accumulate moisture at some point.  If we could make that moisture cold enough and somehow get it to stay cold… well, this might be impossible as well.

This idea will require a professional-grade think tank.  Fortunately, the Buffet o’ Blog R&D (Research & Development) team is qualified for such a task.  What we’ll need is (can you guess?): a lot of money.  Now, I know, you’re thinking it doesn’t take money to think, and there’s some truthiness to that.  But a hurricane-scale snow maker isn’t gonna build itself, plus there are numerous logistical impossibilities to overcome, and we’d need time away from our jobs to accomplish this mission.  So if you want a hurricane made of snow, you’re gonna have to send us money.  There’s simply no other way.  Again, we can print off some official certificates saying you’re awesome for contributing to this world-changing project, and you’ll feel warm and toasty inside (except when you’re out playing in the snow).

If you have money but doubt our plan, we could draw up some diagrams and flow charts to send to you in exchange for funding.  🙂  We could also meet to discuss this over good pizza…  (Our R&D department usually meet while eating… we’ve found it’s good for morale and having good ideas.)

how to prevent hurricanes

If you know much about weather, you know that mankind does not possess the ability to stop a hurricane.  Hurricanes are kinda like a migraine headache in that regard — unstoppable once it gets going.  In fact, a migraine feels kinda like a hurricane in your head.  Or a tornado.  But I digress.

Anyway, we cannot stop a hurricane once it gets started.  I’ve heard that Hurricane Katrina contained the energy equivalent of 150,000 atomic bombs, and released enough of that energy to power the United States for a year.  Amazing!   If only we could capture a fraction of that power.  But that’s another discussion.  (I almost digressed again…)

satellite photo of Hurricane Jeanne from 2004So obviously the key to stopping a hurricane is to prevent it from forming.  That may sound impossible, and it almost is, but I learned from The Discovery Channel where hurricanes (affecting the U.S.) come from.  The whole process starts from hot, dry air from the Sahara Desert.  Pockets of that hot, dry air get released over the ocean about every three days, and then convection and evaporation and condensation and stuff take place, and hurricanes are formed.  So one possible solution would be to destroy the Sahara Desert.   I know, that sounds crazy, but think about it — the climate of the Sahara is such that its inhabitants have to live elsewhere.  So who would it inconvenience?  It would save a lot of money when we don’t have destructive hurricanes!

I can see some people opposing that plan.  Fortunately there’s another potential way to stop hurricanes.  During the convection process, clouds form and begin to rotate because of the rotation of the Earth.  So obviously if we stopped the Earth’s rotation, that would prevent hurricanes from forming.  However, this plan would have some major side-effects, like perhaps altering gravity, and we might lose the Moon.  I’m sure some other bad things would happen too, so I can see this idea being vetoed.

Perhaps instead of destroying the Sahara Desert, we should just cover it with solar panels to capture the heat.  And since the Sahara Desert is one of the hottest places in the world, this could also reduce global warming, and it would be a clean, green, unlimited, renewable energy solution.  Sounds perfect, right?  That could be quite expensive, which is probably why it hasn’t been done.  But it would produce untold amounts of clean energy, which everyone wants these days.  Since a large up-front investment is needed, you can start sending in donations, and I’ll do this whenever I get enough money, and it’ll be a win-win for everyone.  You can give using various denominations of cash, check, credit card, and bacon.