• Residents of Florida are once again being asked to not shoot at the approaching hurricane
  • Florida sheriffs publicly asked residents to not shoot at Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Florence in 2018
  • Hurricane Dorian is currently a category 4 storm expected to hit the northern Bahamas full force on Sunday

As the east coast eagerly await to see the path Hurricane Dorian is going to choose, an old illustration is once again circulating on social media reminding Floridians not to shoot at the approaching hurricane.

Do Not Shoot At Hurricane Dorian

On Thursday, the Breaking 911 Twitter account tweeted out a recycled image warning people to not shoot at Dorian. Several Facebook events have been started to shoot at the storm but none seem to have picked up quite as much traction as similar social media jokes over the years.

Do Not Shoot At Hurricane Irma

The image tweeted out first began circulating at least as early as Hurricane Irma in 2017. A Facebook event titled “Shoot At Hurricane Irma” had over 29,000 marked as attending and another 55,000 interested. “Let’s show Irma that we shoot first,” the event description read. While the event was surely meant to be a joke, Florida law enforcement felt it gained enough support to tell residents in Florida not to shoot at the approaching storm.

Due to the event, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office addressed the general public from their Twitter account. “To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma. You won’t make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects,” the caption with the tweet read. The tweet linked to an article from Yahoo that showed the same image as the one now warning residents not to shoot at Dorian. 

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According to Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, the concern was not that massive amounts of people would go shoot at Irma. Instead, it was the small numbers that may had taken the joke serious that concerned Nocco. “Over 99% of the people out there have common sense and are listening, but we in law enforcement deal with the 1%, so we are trying to get the message to them,” Nocco told USA Today.

Do Not Shoot At Hurricane Florence

Once again in 2018, there were concerns that Floridians would shoot at Hurricane Florence. IFL Science reported a Facebook group was asking people to shoot at Florence so that it would be “scared away.” The group was once again started as a joke. A group administrator even left a disclaimer that read, “Note: do not actually discharge firearms into the air. You could kill someone and you cannot frighten a hurricane. I can’t believe I actually have to write this.”

So would shooting at a hurricane scare it away? Of course not. As IFL Science points out, even an average hurricane are “stupendously powerful.” In comparison, volcanic eruptions do not even come close to matching the power output of a hurricane which can unleash 603 trillion joules per second. The eruption of Mount St Helens in May 1980 only released around 100,000 joules.

Inverse warns gun owners to not try to shoot at a hurricane for “everyone’s sake.” Due to the high winds there is no telling where a bullet could end up landing. As an example, a bullet going against 1 mph winds will stray 5.9 inches from its original path. Now when you shoot a bullet into hurricane wind speeds it becomes a bit more clear how far a bullet could potentially be pushed off its course.

Northern Bahamas Prepare For Hurricane Dorian

Dorian is currently a category 4 hurricane expected to hit the northern Bahamas on Sunday at full force then likely linger. The storm surge is expected to raise water levels 15-20 feet above normal levels. Rainfall totals are expected to be over 20 inches. As the northern Bahamas now brace for impact, the east coast of America continues to anxiously wait to know Dorian’s path.

Irma had measurements of the strongest storm to ever leave the Atlantic Ocean. Irma devastated the Caribbean islands and the Florida Keys. The storm was responsible for the largest hurricane evacuation in Florida’s history. Atmospheric forces managed to nudge Irma off the initial believed path, which likely saved billions of dollars in property damage and possibly hundreds of lives. Irma is a perfect example that it is still hard to know where Dorian is going to make landfall in America.

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