Punctured cloud (Mar, 1950)

Punctured cloud…
Here’s how a man-made hole in a cloud looks from topside, 15,000 feet up. The racetrack-shaped opening, 20 miles long on the sides, five miles across on the ends, was formed by seeding a stratus cloud with dry ice. The ice acts as a trigger on the supercooled water droplets in the cloud. They condense into snow or sleet, fall out of the cloud and, bingo, there’s a hole. The cloudbusting is part of Project Cirrus, a joint research program of the Army Signal Corps and the Office of Naval Research. Drs. Irving Langmuir and Vincent J. Schaefer, of General Electric, who originated the seeding technique, insist it can make rain. The Army and Navy, interested in military applications, just won’t say.

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