The present status and future potential of hail suppression
Keywords:Weather Modification Research, Weather Modification Operations
AbstractHail suppression activities in the United States during the mid-1970’s are at a critical crossroads. Since 1972 there has been moderately widespread use of hail suppression, covering up to 170,000 km~ of the Great Plains. After 4 years of a nearby statewide operational suppression program in South Dakota, the effort has ended in 1976 by a political controversy. Major United States experimentation in hail suppression, needed to reveal the in-cloud modification processes and to help verify or refute a suppression hypothesis, has temporarily faltered after four years of activity in northeast Colorado. Efforts to sustain a national hail suppression research effort and to design a new experiment continue, but a second non-experimental year is in the offing and the future is not yet resolved. However, individual and group (state) desires to employ an uncertain technology that could increase agricultural production seem more likely now than in past years because of the world food situation and generally higher prices for crops, recent extremely high hail losses in the Midwest, missions of certain federal agencies, international competition over weather modification, and a general improvement in the scientific understanding of hailstorms.
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