Cloud Seeding Not a Factor in Weekend Rain; City Tracking Progress

Cloud Seeding Not a Factor in Weekend Rain; City Tracking Progress

If you were out and about in Texoma this weekend you may have needed something you haven't for some time-- an umbrella.
If you were out and about in Texoma this weekend you may have needed something you haven't for some time-an umbrella.

City officials say the rain we did receive around Wichita Falls and the watershed was all mother nature, and not enhanced by cloud seeding.

Project Manager Teresa Rose says she talks with SOAR Manager Gary Walker every day to make the best decision for the city and to let other city leaders know how the cloud seeding effort is going.

The cloud seeding company has been firing silver iodide and salt based flares into the clouds in hopes of creating more rain for a little over a month now,  and city leaders are monitoring the results closely through daily and weekly reports.

“They put together a report that basically gives a synopsis of the daily operations whether there were operations or not operations and why there were not operations those days,” says Rose.

And at the end of the month they get a full break down of the operation.

“We get their log data, we know exactly the X Y coordinates in which they did their seeding, we know how many flares they might have flared at that area. I take that and will plot that and look at the radar data and perception data,” says Rose.

Rose says it's too early to see the big picture of how cloud seeding has or has not affected our rain totals, but she says the data from the March 15th storm looks promising.

“It's not at all definite but I feel like we did get some enhancement from the cloud seeding on that. Over the 20 years of research, they say potentially you can get 10-15 percent. Of course the other 2 to 3 times we flew up in the air I wouldn't have said we got any enhancement from that but we also only did one or two flares,” says Rose.

The reports are valuable because the city can decide to opt out of the project at any time if officials decide it is not worth the $50,000 per month cost. If it continues through the entire 6 months, they will have the data to decide whether to sign another contract.

They hope they can make the decision with the help of the KFDX weather team, as the city also puts together a weekly report for the meteorologists, trying to get as much data comparison as possible before determining if it was worth the cost.

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