As huge water sources like the Colorado River or Arizona’s Lake Mead begin to dry, many American states are facing water shortages that will only worsen with time. In response, researchers are turning to cloud seeding: a technique that sounds like science fiction, but is already showing promise in real life. Cloud seeding is done by injecting small particles into clouds, which encourages water droplets to freeze around them. In the right conditions, these formations become large enough to drop out of the clouds as snow. However, only recently have researchers been able to quantify exactly how effective this process is.

A team at the University of Colorado Boulder offers a new way to precisely measure how much extra precipitation is produced through this process. Previous estimates have been highly inconsistent with one another, but this team had a novel strategy to tackle the problem. In three different experiments, they injected their particles into cloud formations and used a radar dish to monitor the process. By combining these radar observations with precipitation gauges, the team was able to track where and when snow attributed only to the cloud seeding developed.

All in all, the team showed that their three cloud seeding experiments produced enough precipitation to cover 571 football fields in a foot of water. This ability to quantify how much extra snow is coming just from cloud seeding is an important step forward. With precise measurements, researchers can better study and implement this technique in an effort to successfully combat our growing water scarcity problem.

Managing Correspondent: Isabella Grabski

Press Article: Let it snow: Researchers put cloud seeding to the test.

Original Scientific Article: Quantifying snowfall from orographic cloud seeding. PNAS.

Related SITN Article: New AC for the Summer: Bacteria produce climate-cooling gas

“Cloud formations” by GeorgiaOnMyMind is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

6 thoughts on “Researchers Use Cloud Seeding to Make it Rain

  1. Their is a possible better way to cloud seed. That would be use high altitude aircraft to drop rain into the clouds. At high altitudes the dropped water will freeze startin the rail processed in a natural way. No chemicals would be needed. What will be needed is engineering and Aircraft Mechanic ‘s. Placing blatter tanks with a nozzles to open at the correct Altitude with water stored in the tanks. The water will atomized and freeze as it drops from the aircraft. This starting the raining process.

    Their are aircraft that are placed for storage and parts in what is called the Aircraft Junkyard which can be remonified for such a project. They can all be updated and reconfigured to fly again. I would prefer the B52’s which can handle tons of water. Their are also other aircraft that can also be used.
    This mod will not only put out large forest fires but will be able to solve a lot of drought areas and lower the increase air temperature ‘s . Not everything is junk especially if can be reused for something better. As president Biden says build back better..

    1. I wander if something like this happened here where I live cause we’ve never had such a flood! It was a historic flood, the worst ever in history of the US! Our highways were turned into 20′ or higher rivers destroying everything in it’s path and water rushed out of hollers taking homes, cars and people, killing many and did millions of dollars of damage. Biden didn’t care or he would’ve help. It should’ve been his top priority to help but it wasn’t. He wanted to destroy life here! He didn’t like what a person living here was saying about him. It might cause him to get investigated..

  2. Former Thai’s King (#9) successfully created clouds seeding & rain in the NE of Thailand started 30 yrs ago, fixed extreme drought in the area until today! Please reach out to them 🙏🏻

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