A map from an annual cloud-seeding report filed with the CWCB shows estimated increases in precipitation in the target areas around Summit County resorts.
Report says last winter’s efforts added more than 8,000 acre-feet of water, recommends routine seeding
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Cloud-seeding experts say their efforts boosted snow totals at Summit County ski areas by 12 to 22 inches last winter, producing an additional 8,850 acre-feet of water in the Blue River Basin.
“We … believe that this valuable service of providing additional snow was achieved in a cost effective manner,” says a report filed with the state by Western Weather Consultants, recommending that cloud-seeding weather modifications proceed on a routine basis each year to help bolster the state’s water supplies and to enhance early season skiing at the targeted resorts.
This year, the $274,000 central Colorado mountains program includes seven Front Range water providers and four ski areas: Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Winter Park and Breckenridge, all contributing to the cost of the cloud-seeding program, according Joe Busto, head of the state’s weather modification program. The CWCB supports the program with grant funding.
Cloud seeding started this week, and Larry Hjermstad, of Durango-based Western Weather Consultants, said he’s keeping an eye on the wave of incoming storms to determine if it’s time to fire up the silver-iodide generators. Low-level wind fields, cloud characteristics, atmospheric temperatures and terrain features all figure into the equation of determining which network of generators will best seed the cloud system during each seeding opportunity. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, snow, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: cloud seeding, Colorado, Colorado skiing, Colorado Water Conservation Board, snow, weather modification | 4 Comments »