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HomeThis Day in HistoryLMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History - March 30, 1948

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – March 30, 1948

Looking west over Susanville in the late 1940’s
~From the Eastman Collection at UC Davis~

Some Rain Falls in Dry Ice Try Over Susanville
March 30, 1948

Dry icing of clouds in the Susanville area was undertaken for the first time Monday afternoon when two enterprising weathermen took things in their own hands and went up to milk a few clouds. At the milk stoll was Julian Mapes, prominent Litchfield rancher, and veteran air corps pilot Chesley Agee. Playing milkmaid to a 25-pound carton of dry ice was Lassen Advocate reporter Billy Riley.

The sky heavily overcast all day with an 1800 foot ceiling, leaving slight traces of rain and snow. Taking off in a four-place Stinnon voyager, the cloud milking team scattered dry ice out above Susanville at 12,100 feet, at 4:15 p.m.

Vapor trails from the action were visible in streams about 500 feet long.

Climbing to about 12,500 the remaining dry ice particles were released, dropping through a large black cloud at 4:27 p.m. Observers in Susanville noted that the time the rain fell in town was almost coincident to the dry ice bombardment.

Commenting on his rainmaking project, Mapes said “Some non-believers may attach the success of the mission and maintain that it would have rained anyway. “I’m not discouraged over the meager rainfall and have hopes of sending up a group of planes in the future when the clouds are in better shape and more operative.”

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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