SALT LAKE CITY — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a pro tip for President Donald Trump: Don’t use nuclear weapons on hurricanes.
An unnamed source told Axios that Trump said, “I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them? They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?”
The response? ”Sir, we’ll look into that,” the source recalled saying during the moment.
“You could hear a gnat fart in that meeting,” the source added. “People were astonished.”
But the NOAA highly advises against the idea, saying that nuclear weapons “might not even alter the storm” and that the “radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas.”
“Attacking weak tropical waves or depressions before they have a chance to grow into hurricanes isn’t promising either,” according to the NOAA.
”About 80 of these disturbances form every year in the Atlantic basin but only about five become hurricanes in a typical year. There is no way to tell in advance which ones will develop.”
President Trump denied the reports, decrying them as “Fake news.”
“The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!” Trump tweeted.
Trump isn’t the only one to suggest using nuclear weapons on hurricanes. Floridians back in 1935 considered bombing hurricanes as well to stop them from continually reaching the Florida coast, according to The Washington Post.
But the idea was shelved because scientists didn’t approve it. One meteorologist said there wasn’t any evidence that the atomic bomb could eliminate storm clouds. And another said that “dropping a bomb in the middle of a hurricane could potentially make the storm even worse,” according to The Washington Post.
And, according to BBC News, back in the 1950s, a government scientist named Francis Rieschelderfer, who led the U.S. Weather Bureau at the time, said he could “imagine the possibility of someday exploding a nuclear bomb on a hurricane far at sea.”