Researchers have managed to create a similar rain-seeding phenomenon in controlled laboratory conditions.
"The work is an important step in basic atmospheric science", says meteorologist Juan Pedro Mellado of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. Doing a similar experiment in atmospheric conditions is difficult because it’s hard to reproduce the right environmental conditions on a small scale or to closely monitor the wake behind the drop. He says the work provides "a clear example of how laboratory experiments of idealized problems can help us better understand atmospheric processes".
The work was conducted by Alain Pumir, of the Laboratoire de physique de l’ENS de Lyon and a team led by Eberhard Bodenschatz of the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany
References : Can Hail and Rain Nucleate Cloud Droplets’ Prasanth Prabhakaran, Stephan Weiss, Alexei Krekhov, Alain Pumir, and Eberhard Bodenschatz - Eberhard Bodenschatz was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the ENS de Lyon, during an official ceremony which took place on April 15th, 2015, in Kantor Theater.