Rainmakers wind up shooting blanks

By Bartee Haile
The strangers that arrived at a West Texas ranch on Aug. 5, 1891 came with enough firepower to start a war, but instead of soldiers in some foreign army they were scientists on a mission to make it rain. During the Civil War, Edward Powers observed that downpours often followed battles punctuated by artillery barrages. He argued in his book War and the Weather that an armed assault on the heavens might bring relief to drought-stricken regions.
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