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UW Researcher Leads Study of First Quantifiable Observation of Cloud Seeding

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A University of Wyoming researcher contributed to a paper that demonstrated, for the first time, direct observation of cloud seeding -- from the growth of the ice crystals through the processes that occur in the clouds to the eventual fallout of the ice crystals that become snow -- and how the impacts could be quantified.

A University of Wyoming researcher contributed to a paper that demonstrated, for the first time, direct observation of cloud seeding -- from the growth of the ice crystals through the processes that occur in the clouds to the eventual fallout of the ice crystals that become snow -- and how the impacts could be quantified.

The research, dubbed SNOWIE (Seeded and Natural Orographic Wintertime Clouds -- the Idaho Experiment), took place Jan. 7-March 17, 2017, within and near the Payette Basin, located approximately 50 miles north of Boise, Idaho. The research was in concert with Boise-based Idaho Power Co., which provides a good share of its electrical power through hydroelectric dams.

“No one has ever had a full comprehensive set of observations of what really happens after you seed the cloud,” says Jeff French, an assistant professor in UW’s Department of Atmospheric Science. “There have only been hypotheses. There has never been a set of observations from one campaign that shows all the steps that occur in cloud seeding.”

Read more at University of Wyoming

Photo: This Doppler on Wheels instrument is deployed at Packer John mountaintop to be used to measure cloud seeding as part of the SNOWIE Project that took place in Boise, Idaho, Jan. 7-March 17, 2017. (CREDIT: Josh Aikens)