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Let it snow: Researchers put cloud seeding to the test

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posted on Feb, 28 2020 @ 01:34 AM
I wasn't sure if this would fall in the Science & Tech. or the Fragile Earth forums, but here we go!

So, I've wondered if they've been doing this 'cloud seeding' within California's and/or the Pacific Ocean's atmosphere.

The gentle snow wasn't a natural occurrence. It had been triggered through cloud seeding, a technique in which tiny particles are mixed into the atmosphere to try to generate more precipitation than might normally fall.

For the first time, researchers have used radar and other tools to accurately measure the volume of snow produced through cloud seeding.

Led by University of Colorado Boulder atmospheric scientist Katja Friedrich and her colleagues, the research began on a chilly day in January 2017. That's when the team watched as a flurry settled over a patch of land in western Idaho.

For approx. three days early this year in Idaho's Payette Basin, Friedrich's team was monitoring three attempts at cloud seeding from start to finish. Collaborators on the project included researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, University of Wyoming and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"We tracked the seeding plume from the time we put it into the cloud until it generated snow that actually fell onto the ground," said Friedrich.

In all, that cloud seeding event and two more later that month produced a total of about 282 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water. The group reported its findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Idaho Experiment (SNOWIE) project radar dish.

Idaho flurries

On Jan. 19, that little bit of additional snow kicked off with an airplane flight. Just before sunset, a plane owned by Idaho Power Company used a series of flares to inject particles of silver iodide into a natural cloud formation that was passing overhead.

On that January day, however, she and her colleagues had a plan. The group used a nearby radar dish to peer into the clouds as the water inside thickened and eventually succumbed to gravity.

The idea behind such cloud seeding is a simple one—to turn lightweight water vapor into heavy droplets. "If everything goes according to plan, the water droplets will begin to freeze around the aerosols, forming snow," Friedrich said.

Based on the team's calculations, snow fell from those clouds for about 67 minutes, dusting roughly 900 square miles of land in about a tenth of a millimeter of snow.

It was barely enough snow to cling to the researchers' eyelashes. But it was water that, if not for cloud seeding, would have stayed in the air.

In 2019, Colorado entered into a partnership with six others that border the Colorado River to step up its efforts at cloud seeding—an attempt to increase the supply of water to that valuable waterway.

Friedrich added that, for now, she can't say how useful cloud seeding might be for such efforts moving forward—every winter storm is different and interacts with aerosols in different ways. But the group's findings could get scientists closer to being able to make those cost-benefit calculations.

"We can now finally put a number on how much water we can produce through cloud seeding," Friedrich said.

More information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2020). Katja Friedrich el al., "Quantifying snowfall from orographic cloud seeding," PNAS (2020).

edit on 2/28/2020 by LtFluffyCakes96 because: (no reason given)

edit on 2/28/2020 by LtFluffyCakes96 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 28 2020 @ 02:03 AM
I live in oregon.....I can tell you that the last GOOD snowstorm we had was in 2014 in my location it resulted in a 50 car pile up on i5 we havent seen anything like it since.......its a little weird we havent gotten snow like that....what i posted is an easy google search february 2014 50 car pile up oregon......I heard it and as a volunteer 1st responder the horror was real. that white out just in the snap of fingers came and lasted 5 mins.
edit on 28-2-2020 by MissCoyote because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 28 2020 @ 10:56 AM
a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96
Oh, you mean Chem Trails...

posted on Feb, 28 2020 @ 05:16 PM
First time my a$$.

If they are showing us they can do this then that means they can do far more then I can think of at the moment lol.

posted on Feb, 28 2020 @ 06:23 PM
a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96


Cloud seeding requires preexisting clouds?

And all preexisting clouds contain water vapor?

Can a cloud be formed from scratch?

Also... thoughts on this...

Silver Iodide
Extreme exposure can lead to argyria, characterized by localized discoloration of body tissue.


"The day it rained silver was the day we all turned gray."

edit on 28-2-2020 by MarkOfTheV because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 29 2020 @ 05:57 PM
So, when is Russian winter going to Haiti, its too warm? We can have Russian winter there, Russian winter here. Where else should Russian winter happen?
edit on 29-2-2020 by makemap because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 29 2020 @ 07:28 PM
I almost seems like a robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario.
If you pull moisture from the atmosphere with an artificial seeding, then there is some place downwind of that cloud system that will not be receiving the rain it expects (on average) ?

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