Pioneer Canal and Laramie River by Tony Bergantino
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Wyoming Weather Modification Program


Weather modification, commonly known as cloud seeding, is the application of scientific technology that can enhance a cloud's ability to produce precipitation. Cloud seeding is an environmentally friendly way to generate more precipitation from clouds in the form of rain or snow. It works through the introduction of tiny particles that create additional droplets or ice, thereby accelerating the precipitation process and improving the cloud's efficiency.

When snow and ice collect on mountaintops, water is released slowly into reservoirs as it melts throughout the spring and summer months. Increased water supplies will help alleviate high water demands and potentially decrease negative environmental impacts of water depletion. The benefits of cloud seeding can be measured in additional water for cities and agriculture, and over the long-term is known to help mitigate the consequences of drought.

This well-established technology has been in use since the 1940s in dozens of countries around the world. In North America, cloud seeding programs are conducted in California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, North Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, as well as Alberta, Canada. Cloud seeding is also conducted through major programs in the countries of Australia, Chile, China, France, Greece, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Spain.

Clouds photo from NCAR
Photo courtesy of NCAR

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