Can Cloud Seeding Help Ease California's Drought?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:37 PM GMT on March 28, 2014

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The California rainy season is bringing one final blast of moisture to the drought-parched state over the coming week. Strong low pressure systems will bring mountain snows and valley rains to most of the northern half of the state on Saturday and again on Monday, and widespread precipitation amounts of 4+ inches are likely. A Winter Storm Watch is posted for the Sierras, where snowfall amounts of 1 - 2 feet are expected over the weekend. Monday's storm will likely dump another 1 - 2 feet, providing a critical boost to a drought-depleted snowpack that the state desperately needs to provide water during the hot, dry summer months. Rain-bearing low pressure systems typically stop bringing heavy rains to the state by mid-April, as the jet stream shifts to the north in its usual springtime migration. The 16-day GFS forecast is showing one more decent shot of moisture is possible on April 4, then a shift to a drier pattern will occur. The March 25, 2014 Drought Monitor is showing that 99.8% of California is in drought, with 95% of the state in Severe, Extreme, or Exceptional drought, a 2% rise from the previous week.


Figure 1. Predicted precipitation for the 7-day period ending on Friday, April 4, 2014. Much needed rains and snows are expected to fall in California in the coming week. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Cloud Seeding Can Help Ease California's Drought
Extra moisture can be wrung out of clouds passing over mountain areas to increase the winter snowpack using cloud seeding. Such efforts have been made since the 1960s in the Sierras by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) of Reno, Nevada. During the winter of 2013 - 2014, DRI used six ground-based cloud-seeding generators in the Tahoe-Truckee Sierras of California and Nevada, for a total of 150 hours, to burn a solution of silver iodide, sodium iodide, salt and acetone. These generators were remotely operated by telephone, radio, or wireless communication, and released microscopic silver iodide particles which created ice crystals, then snow, in winter clouds. Six ground-based generators and a cloud seeding aircraft performed an additional 59 hours of cloud seeding farther to the south, in the Walker Basin Sierras. According to a Desert Research Institute cloud seeding fact sheet, wintertime cloud seeding does not diminish snowfall in areas downwind of the seeded area. DRI sums up the benefits of cloud seeding this way: "Research results have documented precipitation rate increases of a few hundredths to about 2 millimeters per hour due to ground-based seeding during the proper weather conditions. Based on the rate increases, estimates of augmented snow water from the DRI seeding program have varied from 20,000 to 80,000 acre-feet annually over the past 15 years of operation. Seasonal percentage increase estimates have varied from 2% to 10%. The cost of augmented water, based on the annual cost of the program, has ranged from $7 to about $18 per acre-foot." The DRI cloud seeding project is state-funded. Future plans include the development of uncrewed drone aircraft for cloud seeding, which could be operational by the winter of 2014 - 2015. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation projects that cloud seeding could supply the Colorado River watershed with up to 700,000 acre-feet of water per year by 2035, and 1.7 million AF by the year 2060, at a very low cost of $30 - $60 per acre-foot. By comparison, the Colorado River, which is a primary source of water to Southern California, typically supplies 15 million acre-feet of water each year to the U.S. (an acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover an acre of land to a depth of one foot.)


Figure 2. A cloud seeding generator run by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, Nevada.

I’ll discuss several other ways California can get more water in future blogs posts in the coming weeks. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters

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1482. vampares
8:07 PM GMT on April 03, 2014
All you'd have to do is ask if it could generate a tornado, if it did create the tornado and who paid for it.

At this point in time you're pants are around your ankles in a civil court.

It likely is the genesis of many out of control tornadoes. Not in some other location but right at that location, as a matter of fact.
Member Since: December 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4
1481. Skyepony (Mod)
11:29 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1480. sar2401:
Well, that ended the cloud seeding debate rather quickly. See you all on the other side. :-)

Where are you getting tiny? That one article about India used tons.. Why are you referring to tons of chemicals used on one area project over two months tiny?

Another article I linked showed silver iodine as having no effect, yet states, govt & private industry are free to cloud seed as they feel fit.. Wouldn't a better question be why isn't any of this regulated?

The newer method seems proven to be working. Why do you keep saying it doesn't? Got a study or something about using salt that says it doesn't work?
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38148
1480. sar2401
9:26 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Well, that ended the cloud seeding debate rather quickly. See you all on the other side. :-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1479. sar2401
9:23 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting Dakster:


Let's see, the reason we need to cut down on burning fossil fuels is because too much of what chemical is in the air? Answer: Carbon Dioxide... Propane is actually worse than Carbon Dioxide as far as a ghg. Now we are purposely putting these in the atmosphere.

All of the information I have found and read on cloud seeding has not studied the effects on plants and animals that get the rain from it. So how do you know it is safe?

I don't know that it isn't safe, but shouldn't the burden of proof be on the people that are going to expose you to it, rather than the other way around?

I agree, although there have been studies showing the amounts of silver idine put in the air by cloud seeding is so minute it's unmeasurable compared to background amounts emitted by industrial pollution. It's the same thing with carbon dioxide, something we inhale in great amounts every time we drink a carbonated beverage without a second thought. I haven't read anything about how much propane is used in cloud seeding but I suspect it's a lot less than what gets put into the air with our backyard barbeques. My point was that scary chemicals are not important - it's the concentration of these chemicals in the atmosphere that's important. Even more important is, if cloud seeding really doesn't work, or causes other unintended consequences, why are we even doing it? Tiny amounts of chemicals are not the issue, it's the larger issue of the risks and benefits of cloud seeding.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1478. georgevandenberghe
9:21 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1458. sar2401:

All rain has a nucleus that's some kind of chemical. There's no other way rain droplets can form. What's the concentration of silver iodine in the air when there's cloud seeding compared the average human with some silver tooth fillings? Is it enough to cause harm to human health? It's the same question with calcium chloride (salt), propane, and carbon dioxide. How does it compare to the amount of garbage already in the nucleus of a rain drop? We shouldn't be into the game that chemicals sounds scary, since we have these chemicals around us all the time. What are the specific health effects of using these chemicals to seed clouds? That's the question.


THe first experiments in the 40s were done with dry ice. This was to cool the supercooled droplets to a level they would finally freeze and cause nucleation around the resultant ice crystals. Seeding with Silver Iodide, a crystal similar to ice in stucture, came later. I don't know how propane works in cloud seeding because it remains liquid at much higher temperatures than dry ice.

The problem with seeding to get rain is that when you have saturated supercooled clouds around it's often close to raining anyway and in droughts you can't get these clouds in the first place.
Member Since: February 1, 2012 Posts: 18 Comments: 1814
1477. emguy
9:17 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1465. Jedkins01:


It looked like it could have been much worse on radar, the strongest winds must have been elevated, good news that it wasn't worse. I've seen a good number of stronger tornadoes that had a similar shear appearance on radar as that one.


Well, the radar never actually shows the tornado itself...it only shows the mesocyclone that has the possibility of creating it (and in extreme circumstances, a debris ball on reflectivity)...Also, considering the distance Lake Nona is from the radar sites in Melbourne (and/or Ruskin), the beam is also looking higher into the storm and would have never been able to see the actual tornado either way.
Member Since: May 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 630
1476. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
9:14 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1475. sar2401
9:14 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting Skyepony:


I had to hash this at some point.. Really nice to see Dr Masters discuss it. I've been amazed for years how people wear blinders to this even though it is a huge, nearly global industry that govts take part in as well.


This addresses the down wind effect using the new salt method. Just over a year ago when India was under water the govt started seeding out in the ocean to rain some of that out before it got over land.. It was declared successful..





Rain is the last thing that Indonesia needs now, as it has been experiencing heavy rainfall since mid-January.

But Indonesian scientists believe that inducing rains to fall over the ocean before the rainclouds reach the city will help prevent further flooding in Jakarta.

"We are mimicking nature. It is easy to make rain in most clouds above the sea. We found out that salt from sea water, which evaporates from the sea, accelerates the rain process because it encourages the cloud particles to adsorb water," Tri Handoko Seto, a top official of the Weather Modification Technical Unit of the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology, tells SciDev.Net.

Last month (26 January), military planes carrying tonnes of salt started the cloud seeding operation scattering salt onto rainclouds across the ocean. The operation is expected to last two months.

The operation has come into the national spotlight recently because of the Indonesian government's claims that it had succeeded in decreasing Jakarta's rainfall rate, particularly from 26­-29 January when local meteorologists had predicted heavier rains and flooding.

"We have conducted an evaluation using the data in our radar device, which records cloud development and movement. From our analysis, cloud seeding contributed to the decrease of rainfall in Jakarta during this period," says Seto.



There you go. We were cloud seeding. The weather report said there would be heavy rain. The heavy rain never happened, therefore, our offshore cloud seeding worked because our radar device said so.

This is the kind of proof I usually see when cloud seeders take credit. It assumes that no weather forecast has ever failed, that cloud seeding caused less rain even though we'll never know how accurate the original forecast would have been if there was no cloud seeding, and some kind of dubious analysis showed it worked. When it doesn't work, it's because of all kinds of unpredicted atmospheric conditions came into play, otherwise it would have worked. This doesn't seem like any kind of science I understand.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1474. Jedkins01
9:13 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1415. TylerStanfield:

I just don't like the idea of human interference with the atmospheric patterns.
I have a feeling that with "artificial rain" over California this will cause trouble for rainfall in other places of the continent or world. By tampering with the environment it has the ability to lead to many different extremes.



I agree, people who support cloud seeding may have forgotten about the sensitivity of intial condtions in meteorology.
Sadly, many times the foolishness of mankind prevails over the intelligence of mankind. I don't think its a wise idea, the sensitivity of initial conditions means small alterations leads to more significant impacts over some period of time, somewhere in the world.

Edward Lorenz was the first to study this. Additionally, there is no way to know exactly how we would be altering things, which is even worse because it reduces people's fear of it.

People often don't listen to something of warning unless it has instant dangerous results. It plays into our nature to push the boundaries of how much damage we can do with poor decision making.

Its the same reason most don't believe humans are impacting the climate, there is no instant simple way to immediately experience the negative result of the mistake, because of this, people like to convince themselves they are doing no harm. In the same way that people convince themselves that bad diet, and other bad habits are ok. Often when its too late, then mass panic and regret takes place, because subconsciously it hits people what they were doing was indeed, wrong.


I'm afraid cloud seeding is a similar principle.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7566
1473. GTstormChaserCaleb
9:10 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1465. Jedkins01:


It looked like it could have been much worse on radar, the strongest winds must have been elevated, good news that it wasn't worse. I've seen a good number of stronger tornadoes that had a similar shear appearance on radar as that one.
Oh so it was confirmed, makes sense with the pictures of damage and hail yesterday in that area.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8428
1472. Dakster
9:08 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1458. sar2401:

All rain has a nucleus that's some kind of chemical. There's no other way rain droplets can form. What's the concentration of silver iodine in the air when there's cloud seeding compared the average human with some silver tooth fillings? Is it enough to cause harm to human health? It's the same question with calcium chloride (salt), propane, and carbon dioxide. How does it compare to the amount of garbage already in the nucleus of a rain drop? We shouldn't be into the game that chemicals sounds scary, since we have these chemicals around us all the time. What are the specific health effects of using these chemicals to seed clouds? That's the question.


Let's see, the reason we need to cut down on burning fossil fuels is because too much of what chemical is in the air? Answer: Carbon Dioxide... Propane is actually worse than Carbon Dioxide as far as a ghg. Now we are purposely putting these in the atmosphere.

All of the information I have found and read on cloud seeding has not studied the effects on plants and animals that get the rain from it. So how do you know it is safe?

I don't know that it isn't safe, but shouldn't the burden of proof be on the people that are going to expose you to it, rather than the other way around?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10414
1471. GTstormChaserCaleb
9:08 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1469. georgevandenberghe:


Getting moderate snow sufficient to whiten cars and exposed surfaces and even grassy areas. Big dense wet flakes.

Meanwhile my attitude





LOL, just be thankful you don't have a large oak tree in front your yard that sheds its leaves year round.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8428
1470. Astrometeor
9:07 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1468. sar2401:

The problem is my instinct say that, if cloud seeding works and causes tolerable negative effects to humans and the environment, we should do it. On the other hand, my instincts tells me that cloud seeding is a bad thing if it causes intolerable harm to humans and the environment. Which of my instincts is right? That's why we need science. Otherwise, we are in a battle over who's instincts are better.


I have a gut, but it tends to only tell me when I'm hungry. Couple hours ago it told me chow down on some leftover lasagna. I noted the observation then went about doing what my instincts told me to do.

;)
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10329
1469. georgevandenberghe
9:06 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1431. washingtonian115:
It's snowing heavily outside!.


Getting moderate snow sufficient to whiten cars and exposed surfaces and even grassy areas. Big dense wet flakes.

Meanwhile my attitude is displayed below







Member Since: February 1, 2012 Posts: 18 Comments: 1814
1468. sar2401
9:04 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting wxmod:



This is the problem with science. It's almost impossible to prove some things. You have to go on instinct.

The problem is my instinct say that, if cloud seeding works and causes tolerable negative effects to humans and the environment, we should do it. On the other hand, my instincts tells me that cloud seeding is a bad thing if it causes intolerable harm to humans and the environment. Which of my instincts is right? That's why we need science. Otherwise, we are in a battle over who's instincts are better.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1467. Dakster
9:03 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1446. wxmod:


California has been cloud seeding for fifty years. They seed the whole Sierra and all of the Colorado River basin, every single opportunity. I've listed the links before. If this surprises you, do some research on California .gov websites.


And that makes it right, how?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10414
1466. LargoFl
9:02 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1464. sar2401:

Are you the same Largo that just posted the Winter Weather Advisory about snow???
lol she did the same thing to us when we were reporting our storms yesterday..its why i have her on ignore..but something needed to be said lol...gnite SAR..stay safe out there.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39144
1465. Jedkins01
8:59 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1416. StormTrackerScott:
NWS confirms that a EF-0 Tornado hit Lake Nona yesterday in Orlando.


It looked like it could have been much worse on radar, the strongest winds must have been elevated, good news that it wasn't worse. I've seen a good number of stronger tornadoes that had a similar shear appearance on radar as that one.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7566
1464. sar2401
8:59 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting LargoFl:
Quoting 1431. washingtonian115:
It's snowing heavily outside!.................oh guess we are going to get alot of snow talk now..guess i'll leave..Gnite all..stay safe out there

Are you the same Largo that just posted the Winter Weather Advisory about snow???
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1463. sar2401
8:56 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting Astrometeor:
Amazing that you guys have finally gotten around to the topic of cloud seeding seeing as how Dr. Masters wrote about it in his blog.

*shrug*

Indeed, especially when a scientist uses the headline:
Cloud Seeding Can Help Ease California's Drought
when there's no scientific proof that statement is true. He then goes on to cite as his source the Desert Research Institute, which makes a substantial portion of its revenue by supporting and engaging in cloud seeding. I posted about this previously and no one seemed to care.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1462. Skyepony (Mod)
8:53 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1454. Astrometeor:
Amazing that you guys have finally gotten around to the topic of cloud seeding seeing as how Dr. Masters wrote about it in his blog.

*shrug*


I had to hash this at some point.. Really nice to see Dr Masters discuss it. I've been amazed for years how people wear blinders to this even though it is a huge, nearly global industry that govts take part in as well.


This addresses the down wind effect using the new salt method. Just over a year ago when India was under water the govt started seeding out in the ocean to rain some of that out before it got over land.. It was declared successful..





Rain is the last thing that Indonesia needs now, as it has been experiencing heavy rainfall since mid-January.

But Indonesian scientists believe that inducing rains to fall over the ocean before the rainclouds reach the city will help prevent further flooding in Jakarta.

"We are mimicking nature. It is easy to make rain in most clouds above the sea. We found out that salt from sea water, which evaporates from the sea, accelerates the rain process because it encourages the cloud particles to adsorb water," Tri Handoko Seto, a top official of the Weather Modification Technical Unit of the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology, tells SciDev.Net.

Last month (26 January), military planes carrying tonnes of salt started the cloud seeding operation scattering salt onto rainclouds across the ocean. The operation is expected to last two months.

The operation has come into the national spotlight recently because of the Indonesian government's claims that it had succeeded in decreasing Jakarta's rainfall rate, particularly from 26­-29 January when local meteorologists had predicted heavier rains and flooding.

"We have conducted an evaluation using the data in our radar device, which records cloud development and movement. From our analysis, cloud seeding contributed to the decrease of rainfall in Jakarta during this period," says Seto.


Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38148
1461. LargoFl
8:52 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1431. washingtonian115:
It's snowing heavily outside!.................oh guess we are going to get alot of snow talk now..guess i'll leave..Gnite all..stay safe out there
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39144
1460. LargoFl
8:50 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
326 PM EDT SUN MAR 30 2014

MDZ005-006-009-010-310330-
/O.EXB.KLWX.WW.Y.0021.000000T0000Z-140331T0400Z/
CARROLL-NORTHERN BALTIMORE-MONTGOMERY-HOWARD-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WESTMINSTER...GAITHERSBURG...COLUMBIA
326 PM EDT SUN MAR 30 2014

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS
ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW...
WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS...2 TO 4 INCHES AT ELEVATIONS ABOVE 700 FEET.

* TIMING...A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW WILL TRANSITION TO ALL SNOW
ACROSS THE NORTHERN AND WESTERN SUBURBS OF BALTIMORE THIS
AFTERNOON. SNOW WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES THROUGH THE EARLY EVENING
BEFORE TAPERING OFF FROM WEST TO EAST BETWEEN 9 PM AND MIDNIGHT.

* TEMPERATURES...LOWER TO MIDDLE 30S.

* WINDS...NORTHWEST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH.

* IMPACTS...ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY LATE THIS
AFTERNOON AND EVENING. THE COMBINATION OF HEAVY SNOW AND GUSTY
WINDS WILL LEAD TO POOR VISIBILITIES AT TIMES.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39144
1459. LargoFl
8:49 PM GMT on March 30, 2014

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR THE MARYLAND PORTION OF THE
CHESAPEAKE BAY...TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER...AND ADJACENT COUNTIES IN
CENTRAL MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA AS WELL AS THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA.

.DAY ONE...THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT FOR NORTH BALTIMORE
COUNTY THROUGH MIDNIGHT.

RAIN WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THIS EVENING. RUNOFF FROM THE RAINFALL
WILL LEAD TO STEADY RISES OF CREEKS AND STREAMS. LOCALIZED
FLOODING OF SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS...AS WELL AS URBAN AREAS ARE
POSSIBLE.

A GALE WARNING IS IN EFFECT THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT FOR THE
WATERS.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY

A GALE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT MONDAY FOR THE MARYLAND
CHESAPEAKE BAY AND THE LOWER TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER WHILE A SMALL
CRAFT ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR THE MIDDLE AND UPPER TIDAL POTOMAC
RIVER.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION IS NOT EXPECTED AT THIS TIME. PLEASE PASS ALONG
FLOODING OR SNOWFALL REPORTS TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39144
1458. sar2401
8:47 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting Dakster:
Ok - Anyone else see a problem with this: (I added emphasis)

The process of cloud seeding begins with the chemical. Usually, the chemical is known as silver iodine. This chemical contains a crystal structure, which is the same with water ice. If silver iodine has been dispersed into the clouds, this may cause the droplets of water within the clouds from undergoing nucleation that causes super cooling, formation of ice crystal and spontaneous clouds development.

It may also be conducted with some other chemicals, which include frozen calcium chloride, propane and carbon dioxide. This chemical will be brought into the atmosphere through projectiles or by aircraft that will shoot the chemicals to the sky.

All rain has a nucleus that's some kind of chemical. There's no other way rain droplets can form. What's the concentration of silver iodine in the air when there's cloud seeding compared the average human with some silver tooth fillings? Is it enough to cause harm to human health? It's the same question with calcium chloride (salt), propane, and carbon dioxide. How does it compare to the amount of garbage already in the nucleus of a rain drop? We shouldn't be into the game that chemicals sounds scary, since we have these chemicals around us all the time. What are the specific health effects of using these chemicals to seed clouds? That's the question.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1457. washingtonian115
8:45 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Snow has accumulated on the cars and grassy areas.Nice fat flakes.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17074
1456. Skyepony (Mod)
8:38 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1426. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
they have been doing it out west in alberta as well for a while

This one weather modification company is or has worked about 1/3 of the land/countries worldwide.

Hail mitigation at airports is popular too.

NCAR has done research on this for a while. They found the Iodine wasn't effective. Despite the lack of hard, consistent and repeatable evidence to support it, many government agencies and private firms continue to take part in cloud seeding. In its 2003 report, "Critical Issues in Weather Modification Research," a panel of the National Academies found that 10 U.S. states were conducting at least 66 cloud-seeding programs.



There is a newer method they say works where they use hygroscopic particles..like potassium chloride or sodium chloride (salt). But it doesn't end a drought since you have to have the right type of cloud to seed them into or no rain. Those clouds are hardly around in a drought.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38148
1455. wxmod
8:37 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1449. sar2401:

Pacific Gas & Electric have been doing cloud seeding since shortly after WWII. They only seed in the mountains when there are the right conditions to wring out more moisture from winter storms. The snowpack is vital to California, not lowland rains. PG&E has a fairly large staff of meteorologists and climatologists monitoring these programs. They've produced several studies showing the program works but none I'm aware of that talk about any negative impacts. They were doing seeding during the winter of 1952, when the snow fell so heavily that the streamliner City of San Francisco was marooned by heavy snows for five days. Did the cloud seeding make what what might have been a normal Sierra storm into one of the worst in history? Was this a negative effect. We don't know, because we don't know what the storm would have been like otherwise, and the Sierra get heavy snow.

This is almost like a shell game, where you look under one and see more snow, under the other and see less snow, and the third has cloud seeding. The projects have done everything from produce absolutely no results to a claimed 200% increase in snowfall. I have no idea what's really scientifically correct, but water districts and utilities have been cloud seeding so long it's truth to them.



This is the problem with science. It's almost impossible to prove some things. You have to go on instinct.
Member Since: October 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1764
1454. Astrometeor
8:37 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Amazing that you guys have finally gotten around to the topic of cloud seeding seeing as how Dr. Masters wrote about it in his blog.

*shrug*
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10329
1453. sar2401
8:36 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting Bluestorm5:
I'm just ready to spend my first of many summers on my family's new property. Our new house won't be built for about a year or two, but my family is planning to do lot of camping :)


Looks nice, Blue. Lake and everything. Even the deer stand looks nice.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1452. Tornado6042008X
8:35 PM GMT on March 30, 2014

Quoting 1431. washingtonian115:
It's snowing heavily outside!.
Around 3'o clock there was 2+ inch per hour snowfall rates at my house. Got a quick half an inch or so on the grass and a slushy coating on the roadways despite all of the puddles. 

I would have told you about it, but I wanted it to be a surprise ;)
Member Since: March 29, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 328
1451. Patrap
8:34 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
The current entry has a lot on it .

: P



Cloud Seeding Can Help Ease California's Drought
Extra moisture can be wrung out of clouds passing over mountain areas to increase the winter snowpack using cloud seeding. Such efforts have been made since the 1960s in the Sierras by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) of Reno, Nevada. During the winter of 2013 - 2014, DRI used six ground-based cloud-seeding generators in the Tahoe-Truckee Sierras of California and Nevada, for a total of 150 hours, to burn a solution of silver iodide, sodium iodide, salt and acetone.

These generators were remotely operated by telephone, radio, or wireless communication, and released microscopic silver iodide particles which created ice crystals, then snow, in winter clouds. Six ground-based generators and a cloud seeding aircraft performed an additional 59 hours of cloud seeding farther to the south, in the Walker Basin Sierras.

According to a Desert Research Institute cloud seeding fact sheet, wintertime cloud seeding does not diminish snowfall in areas downwind of the seeded area. DRI sums up the benefits of cloud seeding this way: "Research results have documented precipitation rate increases of a few hundredths to about 2 millimeters per hour due to ground-based seeding during the proper weather conditions.
Based on the rate increases, estimates of augmented snow water from the DRI seeding program have varied from 20,000 to 80,000 acre-feet annually over the past 15 years of operation. Seasonal percentage increase estimates have varied from 2% to 10%. The cost of augmented water, based on the annual cost of the program, has ranged from $7 to about $18 per acre-foot."
The DRI cloud seeding project is state-funded. Future plans include the development of uncrewed drone aircraft for cloud seeding, which could be operational by the winter of 2014 - 2015. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation projects that cloud seeding could supply the Colorado River watershed with up to 700,000 acre-feet of water per year by 2035, and 1.7 million AF by the year 2060, at a very low cost of $30 - $60 per acre-foot.
By comparison, the Colorado River, which is a primary source of water to Southern California, typically supplies 15 million acre-feet of water each year to the U.S. (an acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover an acre of land to a depth of one foot.)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
1450. sar2401
8:34 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting washingtonian115:
Hey I'm not complaining.It's the people who move from your state to here that's having a fit that hey can't see spring.

I didn't say you were complaining...
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1449. sar2401
8:31 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting Skyepony:


I don't like the idea of it either.

Regardless cloud seeding has gone on for decades in many places, most states, including California. Hydro, AG, ski resorts, water reservoirs~ it is already common.. Here is projects that were active in CA in 2009.

In a report put out last year the California Department of Water Resources estimated cloud seeding projects generate 400,000 acre-feet of additional water supply annually in the state. That's about half the volume of Folsom Reservoir. An acre-foot is enough water to supply a typical household for a year.

Pacific Gas & Electric have been doing cloud seeding since shortly after WWII. They only seed in the mountains when there are the right conditions to wring out more moisture from winter storms. The snowpack is vital to California, not lowland rains. PG&E has a fairly large staff of meteorologists and climatologists monitoring these programs. They've produced several studies showing the program works but none I'm aware of that talk about any negative impacts. They were doing seeding during the winter of 1952, when the snow fell so heavily that the streamliner City of San Francisco was marooned by heavy snows for five days. Did the cloud seeding make what what might have been a normal Sierra storm into one of the worst in history? Was this a negative effect. We don't know, because we don't know what the storm would have been like otherwise, and the Sierra get heavy snow.

This is almost like a shell game, where you look under one and see more snow, under the other and see less snow, and the third has cloud seeding. The projects have done everything from produce absolutely no results to a claimed 200% increase in snowfall. I have no idea what's really scientifically correct, but water districts and utilities have been cloud seeding so long it's truth to them.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1448. washingtonian115
8:31 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1445. Dakster:


Since you have someone's ear can you wish for Dakster to win powerball?
Okay.I'll also wish for me to do so in the process :).
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17074
1447. Patrap
8:31 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Cloud seeding Experiment Sept 2008

WTWMA cloud seeding experiment. You can see the flares used to seed the clouds.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
1446. wxmod
8:28 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1438. washingtonian115:
I don't either.It's selfish.But that's what happens when California to some is the only relevant state in the U.S.We know their suffering through a drought but it's foolish to mess with nature.Man hasn't learned yet has he?.


California has been cloud seeding for fifty years. They seed the whole Sierra and all of the Colorado River basin, every single opportunity. I've listed the links before. If this surprises you, do some research on California .gov websites.
Member Since: October 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1764
1445. Dakster
8:26 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1443. washingtonian115:
Hey I'm not complaining.It's the people who move from your state to here that's having a fit that hey can't see spring.


Since you have someone's ear can you wish for Dakster to win powerball?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10414
1444. Patrap
8:25 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Indonesia to begin cloud-seeding to tackle Singapore haze


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
1443. washingtonian115
8:25 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1436. sar2401:

Well, you did want winter this year...:-)
Hey I'm not complaining.It's the people who move from your state to here that's having a fit that hey can't see spring.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17074
1442. Dakster
8:24 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1439. wxmod:



California already squeezes every cloud before it gets to Utah. China squeezes every cloud before it gets to the USA. Europe squeezes every cloud before it gets to China. Texas squeezes every cloud before it gets to...

This is the dumbest game in town.


How about a nice game of Chess?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10414
1441. Bluestorm5
8:23 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
I'm just ready to spend my first of many summers on my family's new property. Our new house won't be built for about a year or two, but my family is planning to do lot of camping :)

Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8028
1440. Patrap
8:23 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a huge mass of rubbish, or trash vortex, held in place in the north-east of the Pacific Ocean by swirling underwater currents. This build-up of marine debris is a danger to many marine mammals, birds and underwater ecosystems as a whole. VIDEOGRAPHIC

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
1439. wxmod
8:23 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1408. Skyepony:
Cloud seeding drone planned to be used by the end of the year.






California already squeezes every cloud before it gets to Utah. China squeezes every cloud before it gets to the USA. Europe squeezes every cloud before it gets to China. Texas squeezes every cloud before it gets to...

This is the dumbest game in town.
Member Since: October 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1764
1438. washingtonian115
8:23 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1415. TylerStanfield:

I just don't like the idea of human interference with the atmospheric patterns.
I have a feeling that with "artificial rain" over California this will cause trouble for rainfall in other places of the continent or world. By tampering with the environment it has the ability to lead to many different extremes.
I don't either.It's selfish.But that's what happens when California to some is the only relevant state in the U.S.We know their suffering through a drought but it's foolish to mess with nature.Man hasn't learned yet has he?.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17074
1437. Dakster
8:23 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Ok - Anyone else see a problem with this: (I added emphasis)

The process of cloud seeding begins with the chemical. Usually, the chemical is known as silver iodine. This chemical contains a crystal structure, which is the same with water ice. If silver iodine has been dispersed into the clouds, this may cause the droplets of water within the clouds from undergoing nucleation that causes super cooling, formation of ice crystal and spontaneous clouds development.

It may also be conducted with some other chemicals, which include frozen calcium chloride, propane and carbon dioxide. This chemical will be brought into the atmosphere through projectiles or by aircraft that will shoot the chemicals to the sky.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10414
1436. sar2401
8:20 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting washingtonian115:
It's snowing heavily outside!.

Well, you did want winter this year...:-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1435. sar2401
8:18 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting Dakster:
Skye,

Great. Here we go messing with mother nature again...

Does seeding some clouds mean that other people will not get rain? 'Cause you think there are issues with not allowing water to flow...

Therein lies the question. Meteorologists that participate in cloud seeding programs say it cause more rain in the areas seeded but doesn't lessen rain downstream. They claim that cloud seeding is a scientifically proven method of increasing precipitation. However, when water districts have been sued because downstream areas claim they were drier than usual, the response has been that cloud seeing hasn't been scientifically proven therefore it can't be blamed for such effects. Seems like some peer reviewed studies need to be made about this.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16028
1434. Skyepony (Mod)
8:18 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1415. TylerStanfield:

I just don't like the idea of human interference with the atmospheric patterns.
I have a feeling that with "artificial rain" over California this will cause trouble for rainfall in other places of the continent or world. By tampering with the environment it has the ability to lead to many different extremes.


I don't like the idea of it either.

Regardless cloud seeding has gone on for decades in many places, most states, including California. Hydro, AG, ski resorts, water reservoirs~ it is already common.. Here is projects that were active in CA in 2009.

In a report put out last year the California Department of Water Resources estimated cloud seeding projects generate 400,000 acre-feet of additional water supply annually in the state. That's about half the volume of Folsom Reservoir. An acre-foot is enough water to supply a typical household for a year.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38148
1433. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
8:18 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1431. washingtonian115:
It's snowing heavily outside!.
its nice here bright sun not a cloud in the sky which is good nothing too seed
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54347
1432. Dakster
8:16 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
Quoting 1431. washingtonian115:
It's snowing heavily outside!.


You could have April snow showers Washi. How cool is that? Maybe not as cool as June snow showers would be.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10414

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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