Thursday, August 05, 2010

Tropical Storm Bonnie Dissipated Due to Oil?

Popular Science
reported in 2005:

Back in the 1960s and '70s, legions of scientists explored technologies to zap strength from hurricanes. One approach, according to veteran hurricane expert Hugh Willoughby, is to create an oily slick on the ocean in the path of an approaching hurricane. Willoughby is a professor at the International Hurricane Research Center in Miami and a former director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Research Division.

The goal of the oil, he says, is to weaken a storm by preventing seawater from evaporating, a process that fortifies the swirling rain bands that form a hurricane's backbone.

Tropical Storm Bonnie was no hurricane when it reached the oil spill. However, it was expected to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead it dissipated. Was it weakened due to low evaporation, caused by an oily slick?

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