Imagine a civilization capable of interstellar travel and building Dyson structures, so technological advancement and energy acquisition are not a concern.

They found a planet that is very Earth like. And by Earth-like I mean it orbits a star similar to the sun, with an orbit similar to Earth's. It has the same axial tilt, and even has a hurricane belt of its own around the same latitudes on its northern hemisphere. On that belt sits some resource the hypothetical civilization wishes to extact.

There is intelligent life on the area where the unobtanium is, though, so they wish to relocate the natives. The engineers have come to the conclusion that while land or air vehicles could help move a few millions of locals within a few months, a hurricane could do the job in less than a week, and with much less lip.

How could such a civilization kickstart a really strong hurricane?

  • $\begingroup$ This seems to explain the process quite well: spaceplace.nasa.gov/hurricanes/en $\endgroup$
    – Soan
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ "a hurricane could do the job in less than a week" - are the native inhabitants similar to tumbleweeds? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Stephen thanks, I'll edit to correct. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


While I question the reasoning for using nature as a tool for evacuating the inhabitants (Are you saying that your colony will not interact with the inhabitants at all?), I guess it's better than military might and wiping them all out.

There are a lot of factors when it comes to forming hurricanes, however one biggest common requirement is water temperature. Most if not all hurricanes require warm water temperature to start growing.

One can beam microwave energy onto the hurricane belt to sufficiently warm the water from space. Do this long enough so that the warm water reaches the deeper parts of the ocean and prevent cooler water from circulating, and this will fuel the hurricane long enough to grow into an F5, probably stronger if everything works as "intended". Guiding the hurricane however, is another matter entirely.

I'm sure other people that has better understanding of hurricane formations will answer your question more effectively, but I believe that simply heating up the ocean can create a powerful hurricane.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How much energy do you need? How fast would you need to pump it? And is it even possible without weird things happening to the atmosphere? $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 19:44

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