Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 25, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
CHINOOK The Lethbridge Herald LETHBRIDGE. ALBERTA VOL. 1 NO. 10 TUESDAY, JULY 25, 1972 12 PAGES Hail studies set this summer Preparations are now well underway for the expanded cloud seeding expcrimenls to be carried out in central Alber- ta by the Alberta Hail Studies this summer. The experiments will start in late June, and are a continua- tion or a series initiated in 1970 Under the designation "Project Hailstop." Project Hailstop is aimed at developing an effective method of reducing the tens of millions of dollars worth of hail dam- age inflicted on Alberta's crops and property every year. A new approach to seeding hailstorms has been developed by the Research Council of Al- berta. With the assistance of the National Aeronautical Es- tablishment in Ottawa, a T-33 jet aircraft was equipped to test the cloud seeding system during the last two summers. The cloud seeding technique uses silver iodide pyrotechnic flares which are dropped in rapid succession from the air- craft as it flies over Uie de- veloping parts of hailstorms. Each flare produces trillions of tiny particles which act as freezing nuclei and cause the water droplets in the storm to freeze earlier than would occur naturally. It Is hoped that this will produce smaller hailstones, which may even melt before reaching the ground, and there- fore causes less damage. The key to successful appli- cation of this technique depends very critically on being able to inject a high concentration of seeding material directly into the storm at the right time and place. The Alberta experiments are specifically designed to deter- mine these critical factors using physical understanding, rather than statistical infer- ence, and substantial progress has been made in the last two years. The experiments conducted to date suggest that seeding one type of hailstorm, which com- monly produces heavy damage, was effective in reducing hail size. However, seeding part of the exceptionally severe storm of July, 1971 appeared to have no immediately obvious effect; but there are indications that the seeding material was not injected into the appropriate part of this storm. Detailed analysis of this storm is continuing, and seed- ing more of these "supercell" type storms may shed further light on the matter. These re- sults are encouraging and cer- tainly warrant an expansion of the experiments. On several occasions when storms were seeded before they became well organized they dis- sipated soon after, and al- though this could have occur- red naturally, the possibility that early seeding may be most effective is an intriguing one. The 1972 experiments have therefore bean designed to al- low tliis possibility to be investi- gated more fully. The main emphasis will be on the southern hall extending from Innisfail to just north of Calgary and from the foothills east to the Red Deer River. In this area, an attempt will be made to seed as many as pos- sible of the potential hailstorms as they build up in the foothills. Two aircraft will be used, both equipped to carry 104 cloud seeding flares. During the hail season, storms will be under constant surveillance from the project field headquarters based at the Red Deer Municipal Airport. Many of the observing tech- niques developed over the years will be used, and thousands of farmers will help by providing reports of hail occurrences and by manning special precipita- tion sampling stations. The Alberta Hail Studies pro- ject is a co-operative investiga- tion into all aspects of hail- storms sponsored by the Re- search Council of Alberta and several Federal Government agencies. The National Research Council provides the radar facilities. One of the seeding aircraft is being pro- vided this year by the depart- ment of national defence. The Atmospheric Environment Ser- vice, Canada department of the environment supplies psrson- nel, equipment and meteorolo- gical facilities for the field pro- gram and also contracts with the Stormy Weather Group of McGill University to carry out research into hailstorm struc- ture and hailstone gtowih. It is this latter work which provides the sound scientific basis for the design and evaluation of the experiments. Recognizing that in future years there may be comple- mentary operational programs, the proposed research program for this coming summer is sup- ported by the Advisory Com- mittee on Hail to the Research Council of Alberta. This com- mittee Includes representatives from the Alberta department of agriculture, Unifarm, the University of Alberta, the Al- berta Weather Modification Co- operative and the Alberta Hail and Crop Insurance Corpora- tion. Expansion of the cloud seed- Ing experiments was also strongly endorsed by a resolu- tion passed at the Unifarm an- nual meeting last December. With the continued co-operation of the farming community, it is hoped that Project Hailstop can achieve its goal, and that the current series of experi- ments will scon lead to the de- velopment of effective hail sup- pression techniques. A. M. Runciman, president of Um'ted Grain Growers Lim- ited will officially open the company's new grain elevalor at Fort Macleod Wednesday at 2 p.m. Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, everyone attending will have an opportunity to in- spect the new plant. The elevalor Is of the single wing composite type and has the most up-to- date equipment available. Included part of the ma- chinery is a 50-ton, 50-foot re- ceiving scale, ca- pacity drag conveyors, 25-horse- powcr head units capable of el- evating bushels per hour and double leg units which en- able the operator to receive grain and load boxcars at the same time. The elevalor also has electric door openers and an electric boxcar mover, and is equipped to load all types of boxcars. Other dignitaries expected to attend the ceremony include Hugh Dickson, UGG director from Warner; R. B. Stilh'ngs, UGG western regional manag- er and Harry Brown, area manager. Local, proviroial and federal officials may also attend, and UGG invites everyone in Ihe district who is interested to be present. CALGARY STAMPEDE WINNER This Reserve Grand Champion Aberdeen Angus bull shown al Ihe Calgary Stampede was judged tha best Canadian bull, receiving the Hunter Family Tropliy. Kenmore Jumbo is owned by A. G. Brown and Son, of Lclhbridgc.