Wintertime orographic cloud seeding—a review

Robert M. Rauber, Bart Geerts, Lulin Xue, Jeffrey French, Katja Friedrich, Roy M. Rasmussen, Sarah A. Tessendorf, Derek R. Blestrud, Melvin L. Kunkel, Shaun Parkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper reviews research conducted over the last six decades to understand and quantify the efficacy of wintertime orographic cloud seeding to increase winter snowpack and water supplies within a mountain basin. The fundamental hypothesis underlying cloud seeding as a method to enhance precipitation from wintertime orographic cloud systems is that a cloud’s natural precipitation efficiency can be enhanced by converting supercooled water to ice upstream and over a mountain range in such a manner that newly created ice particles can grow and fall to the ground as additional snow on a specified target area. The review summarizes the results of physical, statistical, and modeling studies aimed at evaluating this underlying hypothesis, with a focus on results from more recent experiments that take advantage of modern instrumentation and advanced computation capabilities. Recent advances in assessment and operations are also reviewed, and recommendations for future experiments, based on the successes and failures of experiments of the past, are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2117-2140
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Volume58
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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    Rauber, R. M., Geerts, B., Xue, L., French, J., Friedrich, K., Rasmussen, R. M., Tessendorf, S. A., Blestrud, D. R., Kunkel, M. L., & Parkinson, S. (2019). Wintertime orographic cloud seeding—a review. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 58(10), 2117-2140. https://doi.org/10.1175/jamc-d-18-0341.1