A Progress Report on Science Doings…and More (updated in August 2023 after a year-long hiatus)

Dear Friends,
First,  turned the big Eight-Oh last year.  Truly bad; time running out.  The Grim Reaper can’t be far behind me.  Let us calm down by listening to some content about death from the Swedish band,  Ghost:
Still doing science as best I can with this ancient brain!  Lots still to do.  Why even right now, a history of the Colorado River Basin Pilot Project, conducted in the early 1970s, still the nation’s largest, most costly randomized mountain cloud seeding experiment, is in review at the J. Appl. Meteor. and Climate.  My co-author is Dave “Eloquent Science” Schultz!  Will it get published?  I dunno.  It’s not the best science story due to major oversights, failed peer-review of the prior work on which it was based, the usual stuff.
Some recent “contributions” posted in the past two years at cloud-maven.com:
One-Sided Citing in Cloud Seeding
The above was submitted to the Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. (BAMS) as an “essay” but was rejected by J. Rosenfeld, Chief Ed., in 2019.  This version has been rewritten and expanded from the submitted one and the word “misconduct” removed from the original title which asked the question if one-sided citing should be considered so.  I have a low threshold of scientific misconduct…
 One sided citing is a plague, not only in science where controversy exists,  but also in the media.  It is a phenomenon that doesn’t tell the full story but misleads readers.  Please read Sharyl Attkisson’s book, “Slanted” for media examples.
The Rise and Fall of Cloud Seeding in Israel
A special interest of mine began in 1979 or so when Prof. Peter Hobbs, the director of my group, challenged me to look into the Israeli cloud seeding experiments after I had outed faulty cloud seeding work in Colorado and Washington State.  The history alluded to in the title above has been updated after the seven season Israel-4 randomized experiment ended in 2020 with a null result.  Wow.  
I had previously published on the clouds of Israel in 1988, and performed extensive reanalyses of the first two Israeli experiments in 1995 with Prof. Hobbs as a co-author/editor.   Both these pubs were on my own initiative, and considerable time and dime.  (My poor wife!)  You can get the “skinny” here though the piece is pretty “fat” being a full history of the Israeli seeding experience:
A shorter version of the above article, lacking the result of Israel-4,  was rejected in 2019 by BAMS Special Ed, James Rodgers Fleming, a former member of Peter Hobbs’ group (my former group)!  I got two reviews; an anonymous, “accept, important paper, minor revisions”, and a “reject” by a promoter of cloud seeding at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. Daniel Rosenfeld, who signed his review.
BAMS would not let me respond to the comments of the reviewers (Special Ed. Rodgers kindly asked BAMS “higher ups”) , so I could make those few necessary revisions to my manuscript.   I thought this refusal was unheard of, especially due to the disingenuous comments of the seeding partisan.  
When I queried BAMS last year after the Israel-4 null result became known, BAMS officials indicated that they were not interested in this history.   Amazing.
I think the long and winding road of the Israeli cloud seeding experience is a science story that every organization from states to local water districts that have paid for cloud seeding should read. You probably aren’t getting what you think IMO, as the Israeli’s found out when they got independent evaluations of their seeding efforts.
The Israeli story is pretty incredible because as much as $100 million in 2022 dollars was wasted on ineffectual cloud seeding due to seeding partisans who missed faults in their evaluations in reporting statistical seeding successes (or omitted data to make them look that way) and described imaginary, “ripe-for-seeding” clouds that buttressed those ersatz statistical results.   I am hoping to get a science medal from Israel for all my volunteer work.  :), sort of.
If you want the “big kahuna,” a full book length autobio about how a young, idealistic weather forecaster saw his idealism about science dissipated and then got into questioning the most highly regarded cloud seeding successes after he entered the murky domain of cloud seeding, its all here, in fact, too much.  But “hey” there are embedded slide shows!
Also am assembling “life stories,”  a kind of “memoirs,” if you will,  a writing task that was inspired by those of my neighbors, Big Bill Cotton, and Big Roger Pielke, Sr. , both former faculty at Colorado State University, who have written their own fascinating stories.    Prof. Pielke had his own Amer.  Meteor. Soc. Symposium Day last January!  Prof. Cotton  got a medal given out only once every four years last year from the International Committee on Cloud Physics.  Wow.  While I am a pop gun compared to these science howitzers, I do think I have some interesting tales to tell.
Here are some chapter titles:
“Joanne, Abe, and Me
(Malkus/Simpson, Gagin)” 
Contains irony.  
Joanne, then at UCLA, advised me to give up the idea of being a meteorologist in 1963, and with good reason; my poor grades in math and physics.   But I became an expert in her field of cloud seeding and cloud microstructure and ended up on opposite sides on the cloud seeding reports of success emanating from Israel.  Irony+.  I was eventually proved correct in doubting those reports.  But Joanne was right in one sense; I could have never have made it through the highly theoretical UCLA program and, instead, matriculated at San Jose State, in a meteorology program that emphasized weather and forecasting along with the “hard stuff.”  I only wanted to be a weather forecaster.  Period.
“Peter Hobbs and Me:  Conflict Followed by Reconciliation.”
I went from seeing misconduct in a journal while working in Colorado in the early 1970s to another kind of science conflict when arriving at the University of Washington; the misappropriation of credit that had embittered some members of the group I had just joined in 1976.  I got sensitized to this issue immediately by professors and staff members.  I eventually resigned from a job I loved in December 1985 in protest over this issue submitting a 27 page tome to Peter about it.    But, by December 1987, I was rehired by Peter Hobbs!  There were no further credit issues!  What a story.  I’m still amazed!  I could not have done what I did without him.
“The Nightmare Before Banff”
A Science ‘Coming Out  Party’ for a Cloud Seeding Activist Who Had Never Before Presented at a Conference.”  
I saw months in advance  in the Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. program for Banff that it was going to be reviewed by the seeding experimenters whose work I had reanalyzed before I gave it! “WTF.”  I had months of palpitations concerning my upcoming and sure humiliation at Banff.  But the evening before my presentation, the lead professor of the experiment I showed was due to a natural storm bias he told me they weren’t going to talk about my paper.  
“The Trials and Travesties of a Seattle Mariners Batting Practice Pitcher.”  
Yeah, I did that for a couple of years inn the Kingdome in the early 1980s before I was fired for throwing balls that had  “movement” (cutting the ball) a backup catcher said.  Maybe, too, for beaning Joe Simpson in the knee, the Mariners’ center fielder…
And maybe one entire life chapter about that 1960 baseball game in which I got my third hit, a walk off single in the 10th inning to defeat the hated L. A. Dodger Rookies. The Rookies was a premier baseball team that no one on my White Front Redlegs team was good enough to make.   Let us review that historic game here as I do everyday:
Brain now empty,
“Octo” Art

By Art Rangno

Retiree from a group specializing in airborne measurements of clouds and aerosols at the University of Washington (Cloud and Aerosol Research Group). The projects in which I participated were in many countries; from the Arctic to Brazil, from the Marshall Islands to South Africa.


  1. Art- glad you’re still alive!! I wondered what happened to you. I was thinking about you recently, as here in Vancouver (well, it’s in North Vancouver, a separate nearby municipality) there’s an exhibition going on an art Gallery going on called ‘The Cloud Album “- all about pictorial renderings of clouds over history. I want to attend it-(It runs til May 1st), and if I do, I’ll give you a report. Intrested??

    1. Hi, Roland! Nice to hear from you. Yep, somehow still going, still trying to think as best I can and get some science out there. I am even still peddling cloud chart posters to school catalogs. If you’d like one (the 15th edition was printed in 2020), I’ll send you one. Nature writer, Maria Mudd Ruth, wrote a great book on clouds that was partly inspired by the cloud chart poster. The book is called, “A Sideways Look at Clouds.” She mixes humor with solid science.

      That sounds like a fascinating exhibition about how clouds have been depicted over the centuries. You’ll have to give me a report on who you think did the best job. Since I am now ensconced in Catalina, AZ, I will have to pass on your nice invitation.

      I sincerely hope you are in good health and enjoying life there in a great Canadian city.


      1. Nice to get your response, Art. Are you still living at that address in Catalina, AZ? I’ve got it down on a piece of paper. Anyway, went to the exhibit, and it was great. A lot of photographs by various photographers, paintings and books in glass cases, including what looked like a journal from Luke Howard, the originator of cloud names. I bought a fantastic book there, entitled ” A cloud day; 365 skies from the Cloud Appreciation Society.’ Full of intresting cloud photos and some paintings. As far as paintings go, one that really grabbed my attention was on page 212 by a 17th century Dutch artist Aelbert Cuyp. He made a landscape scene of a village with a sky that had clouds identified as ” statocumulus castellanus lacunosus”. I’ve seen clouds like that in my lifetime! An early photo on page 230 by the French photographer Gustave Le Gray is considered a landmark because he was able to make the sky and seascape scene look balanced by using 2 separate negatives(one of the sky, the other of the sea) putting them together somehow(don’t ask me how),and so for the first time a photograph showing clouds works with the rest of the scene. Anyway, it was worth seeing! RD
        p.s. the author’s name for the book is Gavin Pretor-Pinney

        1. Yep, we are still here at the same place, Roland. Thanks for the report on the exhibit. I have not yet seen that book by the Cloud Appreciation Society, but I bet its terrific.
          And thanks for the detail and descriptions of those paintings and photos you deemed most memorable. I know of Gavin Pretor-Pinney. I asked him if he wanted a critique
          of his earlier book, some IDs weren’t quite right. Recall I worked in airborne studies of clouds. He did not respond which was odd I thought.


          1. Great, Art! I’m going to send you another cloud photo (like I used to) soon, that’s why I asked about the address. I would be interested in another cloud poster- the one I bought from the Polygon Gallery (where the exhibit was) wasn’t what I really wanted. But how much does it cost?

  2. Hi Art!

    Happy 80th! Glad you’re still a “gad-fly” on the snout of the cloud-seeding beast. In my cloud physics and physical meteorology classes I often pull out the Art Rangno and his “calibrated eye” stories, and rants about cloud seeding for extra flavor.

    My best wishes for your 9th decade


    1. Hey, great to hear from you, Tim! I still fondly remember the time you caused the a car horn to honk as our pilot passed by it in Barrow. You are a fun and brilliant guy I was lucky to know in the Cloud and Aerosol Research Group. How I sped by 80 so fast is still a mystery to me. We are both doing well here in Catalina and have magnificent views here in our dirt road paradise. Bill Cotton lives just down the road…we will be hiking the Catalina foothills shortly. You and yours should get down “thisaway” sometime!


  3. Art- I received a warning on my e-mail system that your address could not be verified, so I’ll send my mailing address here:
    #5-5681 Lincoln Street
    Vancouver, BC
    V5R 4P5
    Thanks so much for your generosity! I moved over a year ago, and seem to have lost the original poster! 🙁

  4. Art, Congratulations!
    You dont know me but I would like to take a moment to thank you for this wonderful site which I stumbled across by accident years ago while looking for sky references for my paintings. You see, I’m an artist in the video game and movie business and perhaps unbeknownst to you your photographs and writing has influenced a lot of cool work done not just by me but a lot of other artists around the world. Your in depth explanations of weather phenomenon has helped shape my, and the understanding of fellow artist, on how this facet of the world around us works. It’s inspired many paintings and has never stopped to amaze me. I wish you all the best and thank you again for your work.

    All the best,

    1. Thank you so much, Titus, for your very kind comments on that stage of this blog where I was trying to explain all that I knew about clouds and weather with a little sophomoric humor thrown in at times. Again, thank you!


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