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Meteorology (Weather)/Drought in California

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Hello Donald,
First, I want to commend you for volunteering your time to participate in this forum - to share information and knowledge is perhaps the best form of "giving" in our world today. I shall forever hold fast to the sense of wonder I feel when I can
communicate to a stranger on the other side of the world with a simple 'click'.

Donald, I reside out west; and there is much information being broadcast this year about the drought and it's ramifications if it is not alleviated.  In my state, it was stated by the powers that be that because of the drought, several species will go
extinct, the harvest of crops will be very minimal, water supplies may well be turned off, and prices of crops will be jacked up - among other things.  Hearing all this compelled me to do some research about the matter.  The governor here had stated
that "we can't make it rain ..".   However, because of some communication I had a few years ago with an organization, I thought otherwise. I want to run a few things by you to get your expert input about it, because I'm the kind of individual who is
inclined to strive to figure out what we can do; as opposed to doing nothing but "declaring a drought" like the head honchos are doing.

You see, I believe that they can make it rain. What I've learned is that a number of commercial companies offer weather modification services centered on cloud seeding, which is no longer considered a fringe science - conversely; it is 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. I spoke with an organization via back & forth emails several years ago that is dedicated to this technology, and they boast of "nearly a half-century of successful programs." Their track record confirms the veracity of their claim through verifiable past and ongoing projects. Although this company is based in America, they service/have serviced countries all
over the world successfully to enhance precipitation and snow.  

In the United States, they have serviced North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico, Illinois, the NOAA, the Great Lakes Region, Delaware, Texas, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, and actually have
an ongoing project in Stanislaus right now.  In Germany, civic engagement societies maintain aircraft for cloud seeding to protect agricultural wine growing areas in the Districts Rosenheim, Miesbach, Traunstein (all in southern Bavaria, Germany); and District Kufstein in Tyrol, Austria. Another society for cloud seeding operates in the district of Villingen-Schwenningen. They do this to avoid losing their grape crops.

I wrote to the Lt. Governor and the Director of Water Resources in our state, to no avail.  Neither of them demonstrated even the common courtesy to respond to me; and although I am aware that mainstream media is no longer a reliable source of valid information, the reports they give regularly and repeatedly infer that drought is a critically serious issue in our state. That said, it follows that if a concerned citizen (me) writes to these two shot-callers with a rational idea for a solution to the drought, the very least they could do is write back and say, "hey, thanks for your concern, but we've got it handled (even though we're doing nothing)."   When I talk to people about the cloud seeding solution, I would say 9 out of 10 of them tell me I'm "crazy, and that if the government could do something about it, they would."   I'm over 60 years old now, and I've observed from afar, enough conspicuously suspicious circumstances in my lifetime that dissuade me from having that kind of confidence in our leaders.  

So, I have to ask myself:  why don't they utilize this technology that's been around for over a half a century?   I'm not asking you to explain why; I would not want to compromise you in any way whatsoever.  But I guess I'm reaching out to you to ask your expert opinion on this question:  "Would cloud seeding be a viable solution to the drought in our state?"  I've got a file of photographs taken of our sky regularly, and there are clouds up there every day.  I can provide additional information; I'm following the guidelines by refraining from naming names, places, etc.  I thank you kindly for any input you are inclined to offer, Donald; and I'm looking forward to hearing from you.  Take care -

Answer
Hi Sandra

A very good question from a very thoughtful person!

It appears that there is some cloud seeding going on over parts of California:

http://www.kcra.com/news/local-news/news-sacramento/cloud-seeding-underway-over-

http://baynature.org/2013/11/14/dry-times-california-turns-cloud-seeding/

There may be some reluctance to engage in wide spread cloud seeding due to pollution:

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-12/19/content_17183342.htm

and the need for just the right conditions for cloud seeding:

http://www.dri.edu/operations-criteria

The good news is the weather pattern seems to be changing and that there will be more precipitation for California:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-downtown-la-rainfall-storms-20140225

http://guardianlv.com/2014/02/california-to-get-a-big-wet-kiss-from-el-nino-rain

So, a good site to watch the trend is at:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/two_class.php

Hope the above helps!  

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Donald Rosenfeld

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Any questions (except private) answered from the 1st grade level on up pertaining to any aspect of Weather. I am a 20 year member of the American Meteorological society and a long time forecaster of eastern United States snow storms and Hurricanes.

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