Scientists claim that they will soon be able to create the washout conditions.
Using a powerful laser, researchers have created water droplets in the air.
The technique, called laser-assisted water condensation, could one day unlock
the secrets of weather cycles and enable
humans to decide where and when it rains.
While "cloud seeding" has existed for some time it is not considered a safe way of creating rainclouds because it involves filling the atmosphere
with small particles such as dry ice and silver iodide.
This means that while raindrops can form, chemicals are often spread far and wide and potentially damage the environment.
The new laser method is different because it uses natural humidity
levels and atmospheric
conditions to create water droplets.
Physicist Jerome Kasparian, of the University of Geneva, said: "The laser can run continuously, you can aim it well, and you don't disperse
huge amounts of silver iodide in the atmosphere."
"You can also turn the laser on and off at will, which makes it easier to assess whether it has any effect. When you disperse
silver iodide into the sky, it is very hard to know whether it would have rained anyway," Kasparian added.
Researchers showcased the new technique
on the banks of the Rhone near Lake Geneva after constructing the gigantic
Following 133 hours of firing a beam of intense
laser light which created nitric acid particles in the air it resulted in binding
the water molecules together to create droplets.
Although it didn't form into actual
rainfall, scientists remain positive
they can soon manipulate weather conditions and even prevent showers.
"Maybe one day this could be a way to attenuate the monsoon or reduce flooding in certain areas," Kasparian said.