What is Cloud Seeding and Why Does Colorado do it?
They say that water is the key to life. Humans, animals, and plants all need it to survive, and even our economy depends on it in numerous ways. Now let's say that mother nature decided that we don't really need as much water as we used to, we'd be in a lot of trouble, right?
That's where cloud seeding comes in. The process of cloud seeding is not only fascinating but is also practiced by our local government and is vital to Colorado in many ways.
What is Cloud Seeding in Colorado?
Cloud seeding is a process that has proven to be beneficial to the state of Colorado in numerous ways. By taking part in cloud seeding, Colorado has reduced the devastation that recent drought and climate change could have wreaked on the state, as well as neighboring states that benefit from our Rocky Mountain water.
From a scientific standpoint, cloud seeding occurs when silver iodide, a naturally-occurring chemical, is vaporized by means of a propane flame, and resulting particles are lifted into the clouds in the air by the wind.
Once these particles reach the clouds, they attract water molecules and freeze them, essentially aiding in snow production.
Where does Cloud Seeding Take Place in Colorado?
Cloud seeding takes place all over the state of Colorado, but largely at high elevations. The State of Colorado and the Colorado River District operate two large, remotely operated machines as well as 20 manually operated machines across the state.
While much of the cloud seeding in Colorado is done out of necessity, cloud seeding is also financed by ski resorts in Eagle, Grand, Pitkin, and Summit Counties, and attribute the practice to several inches of additional snow on the slopes of their mountains.
Take a look at how cloud seeding is done in Colorado: