Cloud Seeding Fading Away?

The Wichita Eagle has a good story, via the Associated Press, about the shrinking cloud seeding program in western Kansas.

The most serious problem with cloud seeding is that, at best, it can increase rainfall by roughly 10% over what would have fallen anyway. Meaning, if zero rain would naturally fall, seeding cannot help.

Here is the weather satellite photo with 5pm temperatures. Some areas have had highs above 115° this afternoon. See any rain clouds in the Kansas portion of the photo (where the cloud seeding program is conducted)? Even though rain is desperately needed, there are zero clouds to seed.

Cloud seeding, outside of mountain areas, where the meteorological dynamics of rain and hail are very different has been controversial since its beginnings. I’ve never had any problems with cloud seeding but I question whether the cost/benefit of the additional rain and lessened hail is sufficient for it to continue.

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