Article: Breed et al. In order to save Christmas, a ragtag group of heroes must convince Heat Miser and Snow Miser to let it snow on Southtown. I love the ridiculous plot and catchy music from this old school Christmas movie. However, when I was a kid I had no idea that we could make it snow — even without the Miser brothers.
Unfortunately, we cannot make it snow somewhere like Southtown, but since the s scientists and government agencies have been making snow in mountains to increase snow pack through geoengineering.
Orographic clouds form from air being cooled as it moves up a mountain barrier. As you see in the picture below, as the air travels up the mountainside it cools and condenses forming clouds and, in some cases, rain or snow. As the air travels over the mountain it is warmer and drier than when it started which leads to desert conditions the rain shadow on the other side of the mountain. This is how orographic clouds form on the side of mountains. Snow is formed when ice crystals form on ice nuclei, usually dust, and grow within the cloud.
Natural ice nuclei need to be at about o C 10 o F to make ice crystals. Even though these winter clouds are often lacking in ice, they do have supercooled water. This water is colder than 0 o C 32 o F but it is still Wash Post - Gaiteiros De Lisboa - Bocas Do Inferno In order for water to freeze, water needs a particle to form the crystal structure around, called the ice nucleus or seed crystal.
There are impurities in the water in your home freezer Your Love - Denny Correll - Something I Believe In give that structure for ice to form. If you want to learn more about how this works and see it in action with an awesome at home experiment, check this out. This is a ground silver iodide generator in the Medicine Bow Range.
Source: Breed et al. In the s, scientists learned that you could seed clouds with artificial ice nuclei and make snow. The most effective and commonly used artificial ice nuclei source is silver iodide AgI. Silver iodide is good at making snow because it can form ice crystals at a warmer temperature -5 o C or 23 o F — 7 o C warmer than the natural process! Traditionally, silver iodide has been released from planes above the cloud level. More recently, ground Cual Cuna - Willy Alberti - De Onvergetelijke Willy Alberti machines have been developed that will release the silver iodide into the atmosphere and hopefully make snow downwind.
States are interested in this process because it can help them increase their snowpack and spring melt. The spring melt is critical because this is where a lot of people get their drinking water from.
Power companies are also investing a lot of money into cloud seeding experiments. The idea is that even small increases in snowpack could lead to a profitable increase in electricity from hydroelectric plants.
A schematic of the cloud seeding process on a mountain. IN is ice nuclei and SLW is supercooled liquid water. The study described here was funded by the state of Wyoming, and they ran a 5-year seeding experiment to test the potential snowpack increase. The study was conducted in two mountain ranges — the Medicine Bow and the Sierra Madre.
Based on previous field work, this would increase the precipitation by 0. As you can imagine, measuring the impact that artificially seeding clouds has on the snow downwind is really hard to distinguish from. Control and experimental ground sites were set up over Its Snowing (Jo Sandas & Rene Ablaze Club Mix) - Natlife - Sea & Snow EP ranges to record the temperature, relative humidity, wind, and amount of precipitation, Intro - Annabelle Chvostek - Live From Folk Alley at least two precipitation gauges per site.
Most seeding work to date uses the meteorological parameters recorded at the precipitation gauges and backtracking where storms came from to calculate how much snow was made through artificial seeding. Unfortunately, the final results of this study are not out yet. This is in a similar range to previous work in this region.
This could go a long way to increase the snowpack and power of hydroelectric plants. However, there is still a lot of scientific work to be done before we understand the full impact of altering the clouds to make snow. There is concern that by increasing the precipitation in certain areas it will disrupt the natural precipitation pattern leading to drier areas downwind, like the rain shadow in the first picture above. This is why we need these cloud seeding studies to understand the positive and negative impacts of altering the weather.
I am an atmospheric chemist studying organic acids in the troposphere to better understand their role in ozone processing. I flew on a Gulfstream V and a C all in the name of science! Email Address. Powered by WordPress. Designed by. About Glossary Write for oceanbites! Atmospheric Chemistry Let it snow, let it snow…make it snow?
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