The present status and future potential of hail suppression


  • Stanley Changnon Jr.
  • Griffith Morgan Jr.


Weather Modification Research, Weather Modification Operations


Hail 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.




Technical Notes and Correspondence