Ask Joe: Is cloud seeding helping storms ?

Reported by: Joe Hart
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Updated: 12/12/2013 6:49 pm
From the Ask Joe file one of our viewers has a question about our weather and our recent storms.
Vicki in Sparks wrote in asking if the Desert Research Institute is seeding the clouds in the Sierra whenever possible ?  She says we could sure use the snow !

I checked with the folks at the Desert Research Institute today.  I have not heard back on whether they did in fact perform cloud seeding operations during our recent storm.
Here's a little background on the program though.  Cloud seeding does not creat precipitation but it does enhance the snow we get during existing storms.   They do that by shooting silver iodide chrystals into the air which freeze and form snowflakes.   Extensive research shows there's no negative environmental impacts and in fact when cloud seeding is performed it can boost our seasonal snowpack by as much as 8 percent.
  DRI also says they get support from a number of different local agencies on the project.  I'll follow to find out if its being used this winter.

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