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How Do Cloud Seeding Experts Know When To Take Credit For Rainfall?

Since cloud seeding began in Wichita County on March 1, three flights have soared in an effort to bring some much needed rain to this region.
Since cloud seeding began in Wichita County on March 1, three flights have soared in an effort to bring some much needed rain to this region. 

However, how do cloud seeding experts know if those flights have been successful?

As Texoma continues to struggle through the drought, rainfall across Texoma was a welcomed sight for many this past weekend.

Seeding Operations and Atmospheric Research, SOAR, Project Director Gary Walker says on Saturday, conditions were just right for seeding.

Walker says by tracking certain clouds during a cloud seeding episode, they are able to see if their efforts are working. 

"You almost have to take individual slides of radar; measure them volume-metrically before seeding started and carry through all the way until that cloud goes away," Walker says. "And, you have to find another cloud thats very similar that did not get seeded."

When it comes to taking samples from rain that falls to see silver iodide is present in the water, Walker says they do not take samples because there's plenty of documentation to prove otherwise.

"We know that the analysis over the long period shows about a 15% increase in a suitable cloud that's been seeded versus a suitable cloud that was not seeded," Walker says. 

Walker says one day of seeding won't show how much rainfall can be credited to cloud seeding.

He says a final report will be released at the end of the project's six month contract evaluating how cloud seeding has impacted Texoma, if at all.

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