Anyone familiar with Carl Barks’ classic 1953 The Master Rainmaker will remember how Donald Duck skillfully shaped clouds and sprinkled them with rain seed to provide farmers with just the right amount of rain in the right place. In 1983, Barks commented that the inspiration for his story “grew out of the news events of the period. Rainmaking by seeding clouds was getting a lot of publicity, and who could perfect the technique better than Donald Duck – and overdo it more disastrously?”
Cloud seeding was actually invented by atmospheric scientist Bernard Vonnegut, who in 1946 discovered the potential of silver iodide for the process. The first attempt at cloud seeding was in upstate New York during 1946 when a chemist caused snow to fall after he dumped six pounds of dry ice into a cloud from a plane.