My military civilization that I referenced in a previous post is losing control of their civilians, so they have decided to develop a new weapon. This weapon remotely generates derechos. In case you were wondering, derechos are widespread, long-lived wind storms with 130+ mph wind gusts and rapidly spawning EF2+ tornadoes. My question is: Is it possible to do this with the following criteria:

The generator can:

  • Generate a derecho anywhere in the world

  • Have the derecho spawned nearly instantly (< 12 hours) after deployment

  • Generate a storm powerful enough to wipe out any rebel resistance

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ A butterfly will do but it may take a while... $\endgroup$ – user6760 Sep 3 '17 at 4:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Whatever happened to winning their hearts and minds? There are conflicts today where the answer "wipe out our enemies with maximum force" is being applied. Wait until the rebels build their own wind weapons, and you'll find you've blown it! (Pun intended.) Can't military civilizations find better ways of controlling their civilians than brute force? $\endgroup$ – a4android Sep 3 '17 at 13:52

We know how a powerful hurricane is generated:

Tropical cyclones typically form over large bodies of relatively warm water. They derive their energy through the evaporation of water from the ocean surface, which ultimately recondenses into clouds and rain when moist air rises and cools to saturation. In most situations, water temperatures of at least 26.5 °C (79.7 °F) are needed down to a depth of at least 50 m (160 ft); waters of this temperature cause the overlying atmosphere to be unstable enough to sustain convection and thunderstorms. Another factor is rapid cooling with height, which allows the release of the heat of condensation that powers a tropical cyclone.

In principle we could put that huge amount of energy into a suitable environment and then let the hurricane hit. (assuming we are also able to steer it, because, you know, you want to hit your enemy, not your headquarter).

But then, your goal is to hit rebels, not to generally destroy your land. Hurricanes or storms do not discriminate between friends or foes, they move rather slowly and announced, and if you get proper shelter you can survive them. You end up making more enemies (once non rebels know you did it, are they still going to support you?) and you make life easier for rebels by creating their perfect combat scenario for guerrilla warfare.

If you have the ability to manipulate that amount of energy it is more worth putting it into a bomb, which will be nuke size.


This will never be worth doing. The thing about this is you have to apply a massive amount of energy to the atmosphere to cause these storms, and most of this energy is lost in the atmosphere. It is simply vastly more efficient to bomb people than make tornadoes to kill them.

Maybe it is doable, but it is a herculean task with the same end result as the much easier task of dropping a bomb.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.