The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: September 16 – US attempts to destroy hurricanes 50 years ago

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On September 16, 1961, The United States National Hurricane Research Project dropped eight cylinders of silver iodide into the eyewall of Hurricane Esther. This reduced the wind speed by 10%, giving rise to Project Stormfury, which ran from 1962 to 1983. The hypothesis was that the silver iodide would cause supercooled water in the storm to freeze, disrupting the inner structure of the hurricane. This led to the seeding of several Atlantic hurricanes. However, it was later shown that this hypothesis was incorrect. In reality, it was determined most hurricanes do not contain enough supercooled water for cloud seeding to be effective. Additionally, researchers found that unseeded hurricanes often undergo the same structural changes that were expected from seeded hurricanes. This finding called Stormfury’s successes into question, as the changes reported now had a natural explanation. More than a decade after the last modification experiment, Project Stormfury was officially canceled and labeled a failure costing millions of dollars.  Fidel Castro has alleged that Project Stormfury was an attempt to weaponize hurricanes

It’s Friday, September 16

Tomorrow the Golconda Shrimp Festival starts with the Farmers Market at 7 a.m. Helicopter, horse and buggy rides, and inflatables for kids begin at 10. Music starts at noon. Lew Jetton and 61 South perform from 7 to 10. And, of course, there’s lots of shrimp to eat!

Jeffers’ Bend on Little River in Hopkinsville hosts a Nature Fest tomorrow from 1 to 5 p.m. Master Gardeners lead a walk in the woods. LBL brings Backyard Unhuggables. There are canoe rides, hybrid car exhibits, hay rides, outdoor skills training, archery, pumpkin painting, food booths, and more. Tickets are $7 per car, $15 per bus.

Celebrate LBL’s Elk and Bison Prairie tomorrow from 10 to 4 at the Golden Pond Visitor Center. Learn about the prairie and hunting with the atlatl. Purchase native plants. Take van tours of the prairie on the half hour and hear the bugling male elk. A barbecue vendor will be on site.

The Banana Festival’s on in Fulton this weekend, too. See details at wkms.org.

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