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Cloud-Seeding: Why Can’t We Just End The Drought Ourselves?

Kevin Killeen
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KMOX/Brett Blume

KMOX/Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  As we continue to wait in vain for Mother Nature to finally send us some liquid relief, KMOX News wondered “What ever happened to cloud-seeding?”.

“There were experiments done many years ago trying to seed clouds in terms of either making it rain in certain places or not making it rain,” explained National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kramper. “Unfortunately they were just extremely unsuccessful.”

He said the idea was to place some tiny particles into the atmosphere to give drops of moisture a place to condense, and start forming rain clouds.

“Well, it was just not very successful…very erratic,” Kramper said. “I think we realized it’s very hard for man to try to reproduce nature.”

Drought concerns are global, and Kramper said he’s heard that China recently issued World War II-era anti-aircraft guns to farmers so they could shoot silver iodide pellets into clouds.

There have also been reports out of Europe that scientists are working on ways to spur condensation through the use of lasers.

He certainly understands the desperation many are feeling that would lead to questions like this.

But Kramper pointed out it’s something that’s already on the minds of a lot of people, especially weather experts.

“I think if we did have a solution we would already be trying it by now,” he said. “I think the fact that you’re seeing nothing happening — nobody’s out there trying to make rain — that tells you we really just can’t do it.”

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