In 1956, Burt Lancaster starred in a darn good movie called The Rainmaker.  It's one of those movies where a con-man comes to town to make a few bucks off the misguided fear of the local folks.

Many in Ward County believe the millions paid over the years for cloud seeding represents a royal scam for the ages. It's especially the opinion of this guy.

Yet, many in Ward County feel cloud seeding is a necessary step in reducing the severity of hailstorms and their devastating effects. Seems North Dakota has been at it since 1964.

In the Western United States, the practice is used to combat drought conditions.  Click here to see the flare-like devices they use on airplanes. There is also a ground based distribution system which is nothing like I imagined. Apparently, it's more like burning incense.

Carrots' Cannon
Getty Images


So Ward County, have you read up on your Weather Modification issues?  Does the cost outweigh the benefits?  Or has cloud seeding been around so long out of "an abundance of caution"?  It's true to say that not one Ward County resident would want to get in a "I told you so" argument after the heavens open up and drop a classic Bismarck/Mandan 2001 hail storm on your head.  For those of us that were here in 2001, we can enjoy the memories through this You Tube video.

So, hopefully we all learned a little something today.  I had no idea so much cloud seeding was still taking place in North Dakota.  Although, it doesn't seem to have taken the rest of the country by "storm".

KEEP READING: What to do after a tornado strikes


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