Shaping of a public policy for artificial rainmaking 1946-1958
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On 20 December, 1946, Vincent J. Schaefer, self-taught chemical engineer, climbed into a two-seater airplane for a flight over the Greylock Mountains of New England. Equipped with a box of dry ice, much as one finds in an ordinary storage freezer, Schaefer and the pilot circled about for some "likely-looking clouds". Suddenly, Schaefer spotted a base of cumulus clouds at around 7000 feet. Signaling the pilot to turn towards the clouds, Schaefer dipped his hand into the box and began to throw out the dry ice pellets into the clouds. Within thirty minutes, Dr Irving Langmuir, employer and mentor to Schaefer, who was observing from ground level, reported seeing traces of snow falling from the clouds. Two hours later, it started snowing over a 100-mile radius of the Northeastern United States, eventuating into one of the heaviest snowstorms ever reported for that region.