Drought persists in northern Illinois, intensifying in some areas. Another cool start to the day Friday, followed by afternoon with gusty winds. Above normal temps to return.

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Has cloud seeding ever been done to end a severe drought? ?
—Tom Steger, Hammond
Dear Tom,
Even proponents of cloud seeding insist the process is not a solution to end drought. For cloud seeding to have even a chance of working, there have to be clouds that meet specific criteria. For instance, cloud seeding is unlikely to be successful if clouds aren’t fairly cold and continental in origin. The premise behind cloud seeding is that the addition of condensation nuclei, around which raindrops are able to form, coaxes a non-precipitating cloud to precipitate or, at a minimum, enhances the rate at which it produces rain or snow. Efforts to enhance precipitation date back to the work of Dr. Vincent Schaefer at the General Electric Laboratory in Schenectady, NY, in the 1940s.

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