For what is believed to be the first time ever, China has fired a tactical missile at an extremely strong typhoon. Is this a new way to collect data on deadly storms or another attempt by the Chinese government at weather manipulation? Did the missile alter the strength of the storm?
Typhoon Mujigae made landfall in China’s Guangdong Province on October 4th with reported wind speeds of up to 217 km per hour (135 miles per hour) and quickly became a Category 4 storm. As of this writing, 20 people have died as a result of the storm that also caused $3.66 billion in damages, making it the most powerful typhoon to ever hit this area. Did something other than nature make this storm so strong?
According to the Hong Kong news source Wen Wei Po, on October 3rd, as the typhoon was nearing landfall, the Chinese military launched a 1-ton SY400 ground-to-ground tactical missile from Hainan Island into the eye of the storm. This was called a scientific mission to drop radiosonde sensor payloads into the typhoon to record and transmit back meteorological data.
Was this first-ever (to our knowledge) launch of a missile into a typhoon really just to record data ... or was there another purpose? China has been known to use missiles for weather manipulation before. In 2008, it launched 1,104 cloud seeding missiles in a seemingly successful attempt to prevent rain from falling on the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
While it hasn’t used missiles, from 1962 to 1983 the U.S. Government ran Project Stormfury in an attempt to reduce the strength of hurricanes by flying planes into the eye, seeding it with silver oxide and hoping it would freeze. It didn’t work and Cuban President Fidel Castro called it an attempt by the U.S. to weaponize hurricanes. Was it?
Did China try to stop or slow down Typhoon Mujigae with an SY400 missile? It seems like the typhoon gained strength instead. Was it an attempt to weaponize the typhoon? Perhaps we should ask Fidel Castro for an opinion.