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Cloud Seeding
updated: Jan 19, 2014, 9:11 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Years ago wasn't there cloud seeding to induce rain in Santa Barbara? If so, do you agree with the decision?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 487010 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 09:21 AM

Cloud seeding is fine, but you have to have clouds to seed. No amount of seeding will bring rain until we have some moisture in out atmosphere.


 COMMENT 487011P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 09:25 AM

Which decision, to cloud seed or not to cloud seed? I've only heard that cloud seeding is not a very successful undertaking and a waste of money. So to not cloud seed would seem the wiser course.


 COMMENT 487018P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 09:46 AM

"The county supervisors are literally trying to make it rain, as they approved the 2013-14 cloud-seeding program with hopes that Twitchell Reservoir in San Luis Obispo County and Lake Cachuma will collect some much-needed water. Cloud seeding, which the county has used since 1982, involves injecting raindrop-promoting silver iodide into the clouds. This year’s program will cost $307,375 and be carried out from November through June."


(See why quotes/excerpts are useful.)


 COMMENT 487019 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 09:50 AM

Cloud seeding is a moderately successful tool in "squeezing" more rain from clouds where moisture already exists.

It is best and often employed over watershed areas that feed reservoirs or other storage areas.

Go for it when good conditions for success are present!


 COMMENT 487020 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 09:51 AM

Captain Haley nailed it, Clouds are needed to do cloud seeding.


 COMMENT 487041P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 10:27 AM

Yep, the seed is silver iodide, and it is injected into clouds (seeding), to perform various functions:

"Cloud seeding, a form of intentional weather modification, is the attempt to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds, by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei, which alter the microphysical processes within the cloud. The usual intent is to increase precipitation (rain or snow), but hail and fog suppression are also widely practiced in airports."



 COMMENT 487045 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 10:31 AM

North American Weather Consultants used to be a major SB/Goleta company that did cloud seeding. I've lost track of them - likely sold to some other company and moved out of SB area which some internet searching would probably find.

I know that they had a presence in SB/Goleta well into the late 1960s.

They were active during the drought period in the early 1950s when SB was looking for water anywhere they could find it. I remember the drilling in parks, school playgrounds and anywhere there was the possibility of finding water.


 COMMENT 487046 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 10:32 AM

Cloud seeding is chancy, expensive and inconclusive. Some seeded clouds did produce rain, but some didn't. In the case of those that that did produce rain, was the precipitation the result of the seeding, or was the rain going to happen anyway? From a strict scientific standpoint, nobody knows if it worked (as indended) because the nature of the operation meant that an identical "control" running side by side could not be done.


 COMMENT 487053 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 10:46 AM

But the deniers said it doesn't exist....uh oh!

US military discusses future of Weather Warfare


Monsanto Buys Weather Company Climate Corporation


Rothschild’s, And The Geoengineering Empire



 COMMENT 487054P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 10:46 AM

Well, the wiki article has conflicting sentences:

Cloud seeding is no longer considered a fringe science, and is considered a mainstream tool to improve rain precipitation and snow. New technology and research have produced reliable results that make cloud seeding a dependable and affordable water-supply practice for many regions.[3]


A 2010 Israel University study revealed that the common practice of cloud seeding to improve or induce rainfall, with materials such as silver iodide and frozen carbon dioxide, were not as effective as was hoped.[13] A 2011 study suggested that airplanes may produce ice particles by freezing cloud droplets that cool as they flow around the tips of propellers, over wings or over jet aircraft, and thereby unintentionally seed clouds. This could have potentially serious consequences for particular hail stone formation.[14]


 COMMENT 487055P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 10:48 AM

Freeman - the topic is cloud-seeding (ONLY), and I don't believe anyone said it does not exist. It has been used for many, many years.


 COMMENT 487057 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 10:49 AM

But what about the expensive desalinization plant? Time to crank it up? How long does it take to become operational? We have it...bought at the tail end of the last severe drought, which was over by the time the plant opened, but it's still there.


 COMMENT 487058 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 10:53 AM

@055P - Cloud seeding = geoengineering = weather warfare.

Ware are fought against enemies; the enemy is the human race.

The same people used to tell us cigarettes were good for your health.

Time to wake up.


 MTNDRIVER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 11:01 AM

Freeman, get a blog, write all day if you want.

Wish we had some clouds to seed!


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 11:05 AM

057, I believe the city sold parts of the desalinization plant, would have to buy more.


 COMMENT 487072P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 11:20 AM

According to at least one article (think it was on the Indy website) SB had a contract with Montecito and Carp for three way ownership - when the contract ended, supposedly only the portions of the desal plant not owned by SB were sold to a company in Saudi Arabia.

I know that probably doesn't make much sense or even seem possible, but that's what the article claimed. In 2008 SB spent over $100,000 on a study of cost to bring desal back on line - I think it would take about a year and $18 million to do it.

There are also questions about the Coastal Commissions willingness to allow desal to operate.


 JOHN WILEY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 11:35 AM

After skimming some of the detailed recent research, my impression is that cloud seeding can produce marginally increased rainfall in some clouds. Results are greatly affected by the source, type and developmental stage of clouds; and by the type and amount of aerosols (e.g. pollution) already present in the clouds. Also by the type and amount of aerosol(s) used for seeding, and by where in the cloud formation seeding is placed.

Google "cloud seeding research" and you'll find some really detailed and complex articles like the exhaustive and exhausting, informative and inconclusive 2012 Queensland report.

Also an overview of recent research in this brief University Corporation for Atmospheric Research report:

...In its 2003 report, "Critical Issues in Weather Modification Research," a panel of the National Academies found that 10 U.S. states were conducting at least 66 cloud-seeding programs. "We know that human activities can affect the weather, and we know that seeding will cause some changes to a cloud," noted the report. "However, we are still unable to translate these induced changes into verifiable changes in rainfall and hail fall, and snowfall on the ground, or to employ methods that produce credible, repeatable changes in precipitation."

The report did note progress in some areas. Research suggests that cloud seeding can be effective in those mountainous regions where upslope winds often induce clouds that are inefficient in producing snow on their own.

In addition, the hygroscopic seeding of summertime convective clouds shows some promise to enhance rainfall. However, in times of serious drought, weather modification may be of little use. When the skies are clear, there are no clouds to seed.


 COMMENT 487087P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 11:57 AM

Thanks, John, for the excepts and links - that add to the discussion and hopefully our knowledge.


 COMMENT 487092P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 12:04 PM

Our "special" poster is an example of a digital "tragedy of the commons", where open forums come to be dominated by those with social interaction problems in real life.


 COMMENT 487115 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 01:06 PM

Freeman, you are right on the money.

One of the big problems facing us is human nature itself; if an authority makes a pronouncement, most people tend to believe it by default. This aspect of human nature was researched extensively in the 1950s by psychologist Solomon Asch. Hs laboratory findings were known as the Asch Conformity Experiments.

Perhaps one of the motivations for people conforming by default to a majority-held notion or perception, despite knowing better - is the fear of retribution or being ostracized by one's peers. It's also more *comfortable* to conform. This weakness in the human psyche has been used extensively by authorities throughout history (including our own) in order to perpetrate or hide appalling crimes without being challenged by the public, out of fear of not conforming to majority opinion, that "opinion" being previously determined by the same authorities.


 COMMENT 487124P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 01:45 PM

487115 - you have to be kidding. In today's day and age there are tons of people who question even to point of posting nonsense. Just check the various discussion boards - most of the posts are by people who have their own distinct, pet theories, nowhere close to that of the supposed authoritarian authorities.

There are many people on this board who are smart, scientific and not swayed by conspiracy theories, as a certain person is.

I say sock puppet.


 COMMENT 487128P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 01:52 PM

To paraphrase someone apparently anonymously agreeing with himself, some people are wrong on the money. The money invested by Big Capitalists like the Koch brothers to support sensationalist media moguls like Murdoch in convincing paranoids to speak, act and vote against their own interests.

We can obliquely reference one 65 year old study as proof of the motivations of people inclined to favor science over sensationalism, or consider reaching our own informed interim impression after reviewing a diverse body of recent scientific inquiry. We can succumb to and promulgate a bias against educated and constantly evolving and advancing scientific understanding of the world and society, or assume the worst and contribute toward making it happen from a posture of self-justified ignorance.


 COMMENT 487129P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 01:57 PM

Sock puppet, indeed. The mentally unstable often think they are special, above the ordinary, and everyone else just doesn't have their special vision. They revel in "confederation of dunces" quotes, not realizing that they are the dunces.


 COMMENT 487130 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 02:03 PM

In the past they seeded with dry ice, seems like it would be safer and cheaper. Silver iodide has detrimental health effects for wildlife and humans.


 COMMENT 487136P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 02:25 PM

Virtually everything our President tells us is later proven to be a lie, but anyone who questions authority is just paranoid. Uhuh, sock puppet indeed.


 COMMENT 487140 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 02:30 PM

I do not post anonymously, ever; that means there's more than one person here who knows the facts and is willing to point them out.

Notice how most of the disinfo agents, paid trolls, and bots post anonymously? When they lose the battle of ideas, they resort to labeling, personal attacks, and isolation of the target.

Whether you agree with me or not doesn't change the facts of what actually is.


 COMMENT 487148 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 02:54 PM

What the hell are they waiting for. Today is perfect for seeding. I'd rather risk potential flooding over drying and dying,it's really been depressing to watch beautiful Santa Barbara shrivel up in to crunchy leaves and sticks. Praying for a miracle in Cali


 COMMENT 487150P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 02:58 PM

Freeman - It must be real crowded inside your head, with all those noisy identities waiting for their chance to post.


 COMMENT 487153P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 03:11 PM

It's just awesome how Freeman's attackers NEVER have a single fact, just personal attacks (And you can confirm with edhat staff that this isn't an anonymous post by him, if you like.)


 COMMENT 487158P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 03:46 PM

Interesting background information here. Thanks.


 COMMENT 487167 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 04:32 PM



 COMMENT 487172P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 05:03 PM

Says the troll.


 COMMENT 487188P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 06:20 PM

Calling the fantastical garbage that gets posted by the fringies here factual shows a paucity of critical thinking skills.


 COMMENT 487192 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 06:51 PM

The trolls, shills and apologists for authority always revert to that one tired old 4th-grade level slur: "Conspiracy Theorist" against people who cite information which does not conform to (their) mainstream-media dictated comfort zone.

To accuse people of being a "conspiracy theorist" is on ethically VERY dodgy ground: in the early 1940s in Germany, rumors started circulating amongst the ordinary German public about "Jews being slaughtered en masse in Schutzstaffel run concentration camps". The usual response was "well, I may not approve of what the Nazi Party is doing, they would *NEVER* turn against their own people and do anything as terrible as that... that's "conspiracy theory talk". Today, they would be accused of "wearing a tinfoil hat".

It turned out to be 100% accurate. The tinfoil hatters of the day were, sadly, spot on the truth.


 COMMENT 487200P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 07:15 PM

487192 - so you are saying all conspiracies are true. They are not. This topic is about cloud-seeding. The fact that is is being done, is publicized, written about, acknowledged, not hidden and not denied. I do not know how the subject of cloud-seeding, which is not denied, developed into German concentration camps.


 COMMENT 487211 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 07:51 PM

200P - I did not take the topic there: I was responding to posters who can't handle the notion that the authorities or powers-that-be often do not act in the interest of the people they are *supposed* to represent.

Your assertion that I believe that "all conspiracies are true" is baseless. However, conspiracies are commonplace; The USDoJ. successfully prosecutes 10s of thousands of conspiracy cases annually, and nobody makes a song and dance about that. Remember, a "conspiracy" is a "plan by two or more people to commit a criminal act", and the *overwhelming* majority of major crimes involve more than one perp - so why the term "conspiracy" is now popularly conflated with "nonsense" or "kookiness" is an interesting - fascinating - topic.... if one is inclined to read up the history.

Perhaps, it even qualifies as a "conspiracy theory" in itself - just for the benefit of those who jump on the phrase at the slightest provocation!


 COMMENT 487215P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 08:04 PM

I think just about everyone knows the authorities often do not act in our best interest - just read the news of the day. I bet not one person who posts or reads here, needs to be convinced of that fact, and that is why there are the means of getting rid of them - voting. That is why there is Snopes, Factcheck and Politifact and investigative reporting and whistleblowers.


 SBSLOTH agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 10:25 PM

My dad worked for North American Weather Consultants back in the 60's as a meteorologist on their cloud seeding projects. I remember going up in the plane with him and the pilot to spray the silver iodide, as well as visiting the silver iodide generators that were up on top of Camino Cielo. The plane rides were exciting, because the idea was to fly into the storm clouds, rather than avoiding them, and it was always bumpy to say the least! I would go with my dad to light the generators on Camino Cielo when it was time to try and make it rain--the problem was that sometimes hikers apparently used them to get warm, and then they would have to be re-filled. It is quite true that you can't "make" it rain without clouds--and they need to be rain clouds to start with. About the best that can be achieved, as far as I understand it, is to try to make it rain in a certain area, say over Santa Barbara, rather than having the clouds pass on to perhaps another location, say Ventura, before they produce rain. So yes, it does end up being questionable as to whether or not the clouds would have produced rain anyway, or how much. It also raises the question of whether cloud seeding causes rain to be kept from raining where it "should" have rained, i.e. farmers in Ventura might be unhappy about Santa Barbara cloud seeding if they felt it caused them to receive less rain than they normally would have. Later my dad worked in Kenya doing cloud seeding on the large tea plantations, which were subject to frequent hail storms in the summer. The hail damaged the tea bushes, so the cloud seeding was aimed at trying to get the clouds to produce rain before they could develop hail stones, in order to protect the crops. However, when you consider the size of the areas involved vs the size of a small plane with a rather small amount of silver iodide, it seems unlikely to me that any of the cloud seeding projects were ever very effective. Sort of like trying to raise the air temperature in Goleta-Santa Barbara by building a big bonfire. I don't know what they use now, but silver iodide is definitely what was used then. (The silver iodide particles are supposed to act like the naturally occurring dust particles around which the drops of rain form).


 UPONTHEHILL agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 08:14 AM

Good ole Monsanto-------


 COMMENT 487285 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 08:53 AM

I used to Pilot the cloud seeding plane and I remember many nights seeding over Gaviota and after a pass when I would turn around there was usually much more moisture on the second pass back through the seeded area. This was confirmed by personal tactile observation (Ice and Heavy Rain) as well as the WX radar.


 COMMENT 487293 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 09:17 AM

Thank you SBSLOTH for your personal account of your experience with cloud seeding. How refreshing to read a post that is actually about the topic and by someone who doesn't insist that they have all the answers. Informative and thought provoking. People like you are what keep me reading edhat :-)


 COMMENT 487331 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 10:26 AM

I remember quite a few years ago when the LA DWP seeded the clouds over the Sierra and the result was flooding in the Owens Valley/Bishop area. All the valley residents were upset and threatening a lawsuit against the City for causing the flooding by the cloud seeding. So, obviously there were a lot of people who believed that cloud seeding did work.


 COMMENT 487341 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 10:47 AM

My question is about the desalinization plant. What ever happened to that plan? Makes sense that if it is available it should be a viable plan that should not wait till the last moment. Or does it even exist any more?
Any answers from someone in the know?


 COMMENT 487418 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 01:11 PM

Totch - What happened was that the city was supposed to keep the desal plant at a certain level of readiness, and someone screwed up. The city can get away with not admitting everything, and that is why you don't hear anything about the desal plant. Fact is that it will take twice as long and triple the amount of money above what it should to get it back online.


 COMMENT 487437 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 01:47 PM

How about everyone just chillax and let nature do it's thing. It will rain when it's supposed to - it may be a while before that happens - the media is pimping drought - people are freaking out about other people's lawns - business as usual for this area. Just live life - there are far worse things out there in the big world.


 COMMENT 487442 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 02:02 PM

Leave Mother Nature alone and deal with the cause and effect humans previously incurred. Don't like the drought, migrate where there's more moisture to your liking. Greed already causing too much trouble, now monsanto messing with the clouds, sheesh! They've already taken away all the pineapples and papayas from Oahu, HI, the people cannot grow them anymore, not allowed, did anyone know that? The more they mess with things the more pain and strife they cause, stop them now!


 COMMENT 487598 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 10:27 PM

The problem is you can't let nature take it's thing, or migrate to a region of your liking; the military has control of the weather and there is no where else to go.


 COMMENT 487715P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 09:54 AM

Well, the military is doing a terrible, lousy job. How about sending some of those rain clouds on the eastern side of the US to the western? Because there is no way that mankind could do that, otherwise they would. CA feeds a large part of the country and everyone, left, right, center, up, down, military, peaceniks would like to see people fed.

Truly delusional.


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