Let it Snow (oops, I meant rain)

Rolling Storm
Can we control the weather? For thousands of years, rain, snow, sleet and drought has remained the eminent domain of God. In fact, the weather has brought many a man to his knees in desperation, crying out to the One who controls the entire earth.

As drought becomes more common, especially across the Midwest, scientists have stepped up their efforts to make it rain. Although cloud seeding has been around for almost 70 years, scientists are still at odds over its efficacy.

The principle of seeding a cloud is to spray the clouds with a chemical (usually silver iodide) that acts as a nuclei around which ice will form. When these ice particles become heavy, they fall through the warm atmosphere and melt into droplets of rain. While seeding, some pilots have said they can see the clouds change as they spray them.

With the right kind of cloud that has the right amount of micron-sized water particles available, the evidence seems strong that cloud seeding works, at least to a point. A professor at the University of Wyoming says he can increase rainfall by 15% under the right conditions. The Colorado ski resort, Vail, has the clouds above it seeded and claims to have 35% more snow.

But the question all of this brings up is: Would those clouds have produced the rain anyway?

There is no way to know. Scientists can’t run a controlled experiment to find out. The weather in a specific region is simply too large for scientists to control all the variables. So, we may never know the answer to how well this method works.

Despite the fact that cloud seeding shows evidence of enhancing the rain, the truth is scientists cannot make it rain. They can maximize the rain from the potential in the clouds that are already out there, but they cannot create something out of nothing.

Only God can do that.

What do you think? Does cloud seeding work? If so, why are many scientists still skeptical?

Reference: Baum, Dan. “Summon the Rain.” Scientific American. June 2014, 310(6), p. 56.

Photo Credit: © Dave Winfield | Dreamstime Stock Photos
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