State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project ID: 2009WY46B
Title: Detecting the Signature of Glaciogenic Cloud Seeding in Orographic Snowstorms in Wyoming II: Further Airborne Cloud Radar and Lidar Measurements
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/ 1/2010
End Date: 2/29/2012
Congressional District: 1
Focus Categories: Water Quantity, Climatological Processes, Hydrology
Keywords: Weather Modification, Cloud Radar, Aircraft Measurements
Principal Investigator: Geerts, Bart
Federal Funds: $ 11,783
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 78,342
Abstract: This proposal is linked both to the five-year Wyoming Weather Modification Pilot Program (WWMPP), and to the current WWDC/USGS grant ("Detecting the signature of glaciogenic cloud seeding in orographic snowstorms in Wyoming using the Wyoming Cloud Radar", Geerts, PI), which will be entering its 3rd and final year in March 2009. We refer to the present grant as WKA-Seed I.

Federal support for weather modification research dried up about 25 years ago, yet new measurement techniques have been developed to more rigorously address the question of cloud seeding efficacy. As mentioned in a recent article in Nature (Qiu and Cressey 2008), the WWMPP is "the type of targeted and rigorous study that needs to be done in weather modification, but it took Wyoming to do it." Clearly the stakes are high, as effective cloud seeding can have an immediate and obvious benefit for society. This is especially true for Wyoming, as much of its water supply originates as snow, accumulating each winter on the state's mountain ranges.

Under WKA-Seed I, the University of Wyoming King Air (WKA) research aircraft has conducted two flights so far over the Medicine Bow Range in February 2008. These flights took the aircraft repeatedly along fixed tracks over and incrementally downstream of select WWMPP silver iodide generators on the ground, both during on (seeding) and off (no seeding) conditions in equal proportions. Detailed Wyoming Cloud radar (WCR) transects and flight-level data were collected along each flight leg. WKA-Seed-I supports a total of 20 flight hours, and, if Year 3 is funded, then we plan to fly the remaining flight hours (11.8 hours) between 1 Feb and 31 March 2009, while the WKA is fully instrumented for a local NSF-funded project, called WAICO. This proposal requests some additional WKA flight time (9.2 hours) in order to conduct a total of five full flights during WAICO. This will significantly enhance our chances to detect the signature of glaciogenic seeding of orographic clouds.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF
Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF
Progress/Completion Report, 2011, PDF

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