Posted: May 8, 2014 10:19 AM by Meteorologist Josh Eachus
If you've ever wondered what it may cost to control the weather, a $7.5 million grant was enough to send researchers from the Universities of Arizona and Central Florida on that path. They've found that shooting a high-energy laser beam into clouds can create rain or set off lightning.
Meteorologists well know that water molecules zipping by one another can charge particles and create static electricity, or lightning in storm clouds. Until now, the challenge for man to match such power has been creating a laser beam with similar strength, high precision but also enough range to keep the user safe.
According to UPI, the researchers have come up with a "dressed laser" or a high power beam surrounded by another to continuously recharge itself and prevent the beam from collapsing as it can do at very high intensities.
Honing this technology would allow scientists to propel a cloud to produce rain from afar or perhaps set off a lightning bolt.
Presently, there are a few weather modification agencies across the country that deposit environmentally safe products into clouds via airplane in hopes of generating rain for drought prone areas. A much lower cost operation than high intensity laser beams, thus far, the cloud seeding technique is the only known practice of attempting to control or modify weather.
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