People have gone to extraordinary lengths to coax rain from the Great Plains sky. For example, an experimental cloud-seeding program sponsored by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Montana used high-speed jets to chase down and seed small clouds which often had a life span of less than thirty minutes. The program had plans equipped with laser probes, suction samplers, and armor plating against hail. In 1910, C.W. Post, the cereal magnate, began an ambitious rainmaking project on his 200,000 acres of the Texas plains. Post had noticed that in accounts of wars which he had read, heavy rains always seemed to follow artillery battles. He believed that with enough explosions he could produce rain. He blew off boxcars and boxcars of dynamite on the plains around his town of Post City, Texas. The dynamite was laid out on the ground and fired at intervals designed to simulate artillery barrages. Post and his staff kept at it for several years, and produced drizzles and one or two rainstorms, which encouraged him.

(ian frazier, from great plains)

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