Early progress in weather modification is attributed to a healthy interaction between theory and experiment. During the 1970s, a divergence of approaches took place. A “theoretical/experimental” approach, exemplified by the Cascade Project, focused on testing scientific hypotheses; an “observational/experimental” approach, exemplified by the Colorado River Basin Pilot Project, sought to enhance understanding of the seeding process through more detailed observations.

The theoretical/experimental school soon came to focus almost exclusively on natural cloud processes, leaving the field of weather modification nearly devoid of a theoretical component. It is suggested that this theoretical component is necessary to revitalize the field of weather modification.

Key questions are addressed. These include 1) identification of clouds that are amenable to seeding; 2) glaciogenic versus hygroscopic seeding; 3) optimizing critical seeding variables, such as seed particle concentration for glaciogenic seeding and seed particle size for hygroscopic seeding; and 4) seeding for hail suppression.

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