Whenever there's a drought, someone will come up with idea of finding a rain maker, or holding a day of prayer for rain.
Now far be it for me to make light of people who are in truly desperate straits and who are prepared to try anything to relieve their precarious situation. The worst that can happen, assuming no deliberate or unknowing fraud, is that everyone has something else to think about for a day or so. For a while they have some cause for hope.
And it may indeed rain and drought will be over. But in most cases not.
For more information on droughts, visit http://www.home-weather-stations-guide.com/drought.html
Rain making can be divided into two types - cloud seeding, which has strong scientific and engineering reasoning behind it, and, for moment, everything else.
Cloud seeding has been used to create or increase rain for over 50 years, and while results are a little patchy and rarely spectacular, when right combination of cloud seeding method and clouds is present, it has been shown to work many times over, and in a cost effective way.
But what of rest? I don't wish to question power of prayer, which presumably transcends all physical rules, but it is worth looking at just what it would take to change weather pattern before it is ready to change.
But first let's take a look at rain maker's methods.
They can be divided into two parts - local knowledge and rainmaking techniques of ceremonies.
Firstly, rainmakers with a good reputation will generally be folk with a strong knowledge of local weather, climate, and seasonal changes. Some of these may be subconscious, but I think we can give them some credit for astuteness and good observational powers. This allows rainmaker to practise his or her rituals at a time when a change in weather seems most likely. With good local weather knowledge, chances of success will be high, and in any event, payment is usually dependent on success. It is also human nature to remember (and advertise) successes and forget failures.