Benchmarks: October 13, 1947: A disaster with Project Cirrus

Two days after clipping Cuba and Florida, a hurricane was drifting out into the Atlantic. All predictions had it remaining at sea without further landfall, making it the perfect test subject for the newly minted Project Cirrus, a U.S. government- backed project bent on discovering a way to disable deadly hurricanes. The researchers planned to seed the hurricane’s clouds with dry ice, hoping that the ice would interact with the clouds and disrupt the cyclone’s internal structure, thus weakening it. So on Oct. 13, 1947, a plane flew over the storm and dumped 80 kilograms of dry ice into the storm’s swirling clouds.
 

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From science to science fiction

Project Cirrus may have flopped in the meteorology world, but its research left an indelible impression on the literary world.
 

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Meg Marquardt

Marquardt is a freelance writer in Omaha, Neb. 

Monday, October 4, 2010 - 06:00

Meg Marquardt

Marquardt is a freelance writer in Omaha, Neb. 

Monday, October 4, 2010 - 06:00