GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Is it possible to stop a hurricane? It’s quite obvious we cannot actually stop a hurricane or we would have done that already.
With that being said, there actually has already been a lot of research done on how to influence different weather scenarios. This area of study is constantly being tested through what is known as cloud seeding.
Cloud seeding is a method scientists use to influence how precipitation falls from a cloud. Researchers have been attempting to influence weather through cloud seeding for years, but it was just recently confirmed that it may actually be working at times.
In order for cloud seeding to create precipitation, there must be clouds present. When a batch of warm air rises, it condenses and cools as it climbs up in the atmosphere. As more moisture rises, water droplets cling onto dust particles or ice crystals to form cloud drops, or water droplets.
This constant flow of upward moisture allows the cloud to grow in width and height. Rain will eventually fall when water droplets are too heavy to continue floating in the air.
Now, cloud seeding comes into play when clouds are formed and growing. Specific chemical substances such as solid carbon dioxide, also known as dry ice, and silver iodide, are released into the atmosphere through airplanes or by ground-based generators. These substances make their way into a cloud to help speed up the cloud-growing process. Silver iodide specifically aids in creating more ice crystals. And just like a normal cloud, rain will eventually fall once so many droplets clump together and form rain.
Cloud seeding is not necessarily a complicated process, but it is hard for scientists to know whether or not it actually works. This is because our atmosphere is constantly changing and almost all circumstances are different in every weather scenario.