Precipitation Enhancement

Precipitation enhancement or cloud seeding is a program to stimulate cumulus clouds to produce rainfall they would otherwise not produce. PGCD uses this method as part of our water conservation efforts, and annual reviews of our program by an independent Meteorologist for the last 11 years has shown that the program can produce up to an additional 10 percent of rainfall.

Precipitation enhancement is accomplished through the introduction of seeding agents, such as silver iodide (AgI). Silver Iodide is the agent used because it has a similar crystalline structure to ice, allowing it to induce freezing. Seeding takes place at the smooth, rain free base of the cloud where the updrafts are located. The updrafts carry the silver iodide to the super-cooled portion of the cloud. (See illustration) A similar illustration to precipitation enhancement is farmers fertilizing their crops in an effort to produce more yields from their crops.  The District was again issued a permit from Texas Department of License and Regulations for continued operations until February 26, 2016.

Want to be a rain gauge cooperator? Contact Jennifer at 806-883-2501 for details on how to become involved.

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