Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 92-92


Cloud Seeding

  • Steven T. SiemsAffiliated withSchool of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University Email author 


Precipitation enhancement; Rain making


Cloud seeding is the practice of intentionally adding aerosols (e.g., silver iodide, common salt) or even ice itself (or dry ice) with the intent of changing the development of a cloud.


Specifically the aim is to change either the phase of the cloud droplets/crystal (e.g., convert supercooled liquid water to ice for glaciogenic cloud seeding) or the size distribution (e.g., produce largely droplets that will coalesce more rapidly for hygroscopic seeding). Primarily cloud seeding has been used with the intent of enhancing the precipitation of a cloud, although efforts have been made to prevent precipitation, suppress hail, and burn off fog. The principles of cloud seeding have even been attempted for the suppression of hurricanes. Cloud seeding is perhaps the most common/vivid example of the practice of weather modification or weather engineering.

While cloud seeding is practiced in dozens of cou ...

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