Cloud seeding, a debated science

A local agency is cloud seeding again. And there's some debate whether it's an effective tool.

Meanwhile the Panhandle Groundwater District says cloud seeding added about an inch of rain per acre in its district last year, it's still not credible for everyone.

NewsChannel 10's Chief Meteorologist Doppler Dave Oliver says, "I think it's important to understand that not all meteorologists are sold on the effects of cloud seeding. The benefit we get from that, does it help at all, does it take rain that would have fallen somewhere else and get it out of the storm earlier. You know. There's a lot of questions involved in there, but I sure hope it's beneficial, the efforts that they're putting out right now."

Farmer Phillip Smith says, "I'm very much in favor of the cloud seeding program. I think it has been proven to us that it is beneficial. It is not that expensive."

Panhandle Groundwater Conservation Officials say they've already performed several cloud seeding events this month. And they've had more moisture to work with than last year.

Meteorologist with the agency, Jennifer Puryear, says, "The comparison of seeded to non-seeded clouds are comparing similar clouds to similar clouds. So usually we find a similar cloud outside of the area that we're working to compare it to."

The procedure costs about $200,000 per year. Puryear says, "If we're able to create an additional 10 to 15% water from our surface water, than that would be less water that we would pump from the Ogallala Aquifer."

The process of cloud seeding is still a debated science. Professionals in the industry are still studying the process.

Jessica Abuchaibe NewsChannel 10.