Severe Weather Warnings Can Ground Cloud Seeding Plane

Severe weather can hit Texoma at anytime this time of year but that does not necessarily mean Seeding Operations and Atmospheric Research, SOAR, can seed the clouds rolling through.

Two super cells that passed through Throckmorton, Young and Jack counties on Tuesday were strong enough for the National Weather Service to issue severe thunderstorm warnings.

Warnings SOAR Project Director Gary Walker says those warnings will keep the plane grounded.

Walker says their operating permit with the city of Wichita Falls states when the National Weather Service issues a warning, the cloud seeding plane does not continue seeding in the areas where the warnings are in effect or the plane can't take off if the warnings are in the immediate area.

However, Walker says the target area in Wichita County is vast.

"Just because there's a weather warning issued doesn't mean the airplane has to come and land because the target area is close to 200 miles from one end to the other," Walker says. 

Also, Walker says seeding cannot take place during severe weather because of liability.

He says it's unsafe for pilots to fly in severe weather.

He also says they don't want cloud seeding to be linked to any damage severe weather may cause on the ground.

Walker says if they do fly near severe weather, tracks of the plane will prove where the plane has been.

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