Effects of Hail Suppression on Rainfall in the Texas High Plains

Donald R. Haragan


Hail damage to agricultural crops and property in the Panhandle and South Plains of Texas has long been recognized as a major influence on the total economy of the State. Because of the high damage risk to crops, a number of farmers in Hale County organized in 1970 to sponsor a project designed to reduce the occurrence of hail by seeding clouds from aircraft. Three years later farmers in adjacent Lamb County launched a similar program. The two groups coordinated their operation to prevent duplication. Precise boundaries of the target area were modified each year in accordance with the amount of land under cultivation by the contributors (Henderson, 1976). Beginning in 1974 and continuing in 1975 and 1976 the target area included all of Hale County and portions of Castro, Swisher, Floyd, Lubbock, Parmer, Lamb, and Hockley counties. Approximate boundaries of the target area in 1976 are shown by dashed contours in Figure 1.

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