GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Many places across the United States experience a severe drought during the summer months. For years now, places around the globe have used cloud seeding as a way to aid the places in a drought that rely heavily on agriculture. Cloud seeding is a process in which teams of meteorologists and pilots find convective cells in the atmosphere, and will fly up to release natural chemicals to either suppress hail or enhance rain.
Specialized cloud seeding radar meteorologists, Ben Schaefer and Lynnlee Rosolino explain more on why cloud seeding is so important, especially for famers.
“Yeah just enhancing rainfall, you know of course helps with crop growth, and then also really hail suppression is a big one because one hail storm, even that has small hail can do a lot of damage to crops, and that’s a lot of money, and loss of livelihood for many of these people out here, so it is of pretty big importance out in those particular regions,” says Schaefer.
“With the hail losses is massive, that could be your whole crop, and if it’s your whole crop that’s your whole livelihood for some of the people,” states Rosolino.
The chemicals used during this process are generally silver iodide and dry ice. Schaefer assures us that all chemicals used are completely natural and safe for the environment: “The chemicals we use are A: The most effective for cloud seeding, and B: Safe for the environment.”
A common misconception is that these groups are ‘damaging the weather, but Rosolino says that’s not the case:
“The most important thing is just that we can’t really change any large-scale patterns, we have to have a preexisting storm to have any effect, and what we’re doing is never intended to cause any harm; it’s all good, it’s all been tested, been studied, and everything we do we do to help the farmer around.”
Weather Modification proves that each year there is around 45% reduction in crop loss due to hail suppression, and about a 5-10% increase in rainfall from rain enhancement operations, as they continue to help places in severe droughts across the globe.