Simulations of Snowpack Augmentation in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

William R Cotton, Ray McAnelly, Gustavo Carrió, Paul Mielke, Curt Hartzell


In this paper we summarize a project designed to evaluate the feasibility of using a mesoscale model to support cloud seeding operations and the physical evaluation of seeding responses. The model used was the Colorado State University Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). RAMS provided forecasts of precipitation and winds for the 2003-2004 winter season. Detailed evaluation of model forecast orographic precipitation was performed for 30 selected operational seeding days. In addition, the model was run to emulate cloud seeding operations performed by Western Water Consultants. It was shown that the model can be a useful forecasting aid in support of the seeding operations. But, the model over-predicted precipitation, particularly on moist southwest flow days. This was likely due to over-simulated convection when little or only relatively shallow convection actually occurred. The model also exhibited virtually no seeding response in terms of precipitation. Possible reasons for that are discussed.

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