Wichita Falls to Continue Cloud Seeding Contract

- After a two month break, cloud seeding will soon start up again in Wichita Falls. After looking over a third party study that analyzed the success of the first four months of seeding, city officials say the project is making a difference and is worth the money.

The cloud seeding company SOAR evaluated 12 seeding events that took off from here at the Kickapoo Airport from March through June and so far the city is happy with the results.

According to a Texas Tech professor, shooting silver iodide and salt base flares into the clouds helped produce more rain in our area.

“They determined anywhere from up to 115% increase in a cloud to maybe only 9% increase in another cloud for the perception mass,” says Teresa Rose, Project Manager.

That means the actual volume of rainfall was increased for seeded clouds versus those that weren't seeded. That's why the city will move forward and seed for two more months hoping to get even better results hoping to have more opportunities than in the fall.

“I think we were disappointed in not having more opportunities in that 4 months, more opportunities would have meant more rainfall everywhere,” says Rose.

After the contract ends October 31st, city officials will then review the results from the entire 6 months of the project.

“Definitely we will reevaluate, we'll look back at the months we did previously and then the two more months we are going to do the cloud seeding to see what type of impact it has on our environment if we think it's a good watershed management tool for us,” says Rose.

And that final study will help officials decide if cloud seeding will be coming back to Wichita Falls skies next spring.

For cloud seeding to continue, it costs about 50 thousand dollars a month. Since there were not as many seeding opportunities in the first four months the city did save about 12 thousand dollars.


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