Scientists Address Cloud Seeding Meeting

Farmers and ranchers in the South Plains had a meeting Wednesday September 25, 2002, to debate cloud seeding.  This program was advertised in all 15 counties of the High Plains Groundwater District.  There were two expert speakers: Dr. Charles Doswell and Dr. Edwin Kessler.   Dr. Doswell is a Senior Research Scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS).  Dr. Kessler is the retired director of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma.   The group also heard from Dr. William Woodley, of Woodley Weather Consultants, who participated along with Doswell and Kessler in a panel discussion.  Dr. Woodley has been a long time advocate of cloud seeding, and is the evaluation scientist for the High Plains Water District.  Among the "believers" of cloud seeding, he is one of the foremost experts in the world.  This panel discussion was very spirited.

Billy Tiller chaired the meeting.   Dr. Kessler and Doswell did a good job of showing that the efficacy of cloud seeding had not been proven to the scientific community. 

Dr. Kessler said, “After 50 years of experimentation, we would know if they worked.  In fact the effects may be negative.”   He went on to say that people have been trying to increase rainfall with silver iodide since the 1890’s.    

Israel had 18 years of studies and they showed 9% less rainfall on days they seeded over a large area—not just where they seeded. 

In the ‘60’s in the US, the US government had a program (White top?) for 7 years.   It also showed less rainfall on seeded days.

It was reported at the meeting that the cloud that produced the tornado that hit Happy had been seeded.   Dr. Doswell talked of unintended side effects, saying, "There are always unforeseen consequences.  It is inconceivable to have an effect without having a side effect." is one of the press stories about the meeting.

At one point Tiller made the comment to Dr. Woodley that if we could not even accurately predict the weather yet, then how would propose to alter it.  Dr. Doswell countered that cloud seeders talk about clouds as if they can create designer clouds.

Scientific paper on weather modification.

see research by Billy Tiller.

Main statement

see further statements by ranchers

results of meeting on cloud seeding

Is Cloud Seeding Harmful?

Expert editorial on scientific validity of experiments.

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