Observations of Rime Icing in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah: Implications for Winter Season Cloud Seeding

Authors

  • Mark E Solak North American Weather Consultants Sandy, Utah
  • David P Yorty North American Weather Consultants, Inc. Sandy, Utah
  • Don A Griffith North American Weather Consultants, Inc. Sandy, Utah

Abstract

Mountain-top measurements of rime ice accumulations during the winter season of 2003-2004 in the Wasatch Range southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah, were analyzed to estimate and characterize the seasonal occurrence of supercooled liquid water during more than twenty storms, specifically toward assessment of winter cloud seeding opportunities in the region. The data indicated substantial periods of supercooled liquid water occurrence and colder than anticipated temperatures overall during riming periods. Using precipitation measurements at a nearby site, the apparent relative precipitation efficiency of storms and periods of storms was estimated. In many cases, rather orderly transitions in apparent precipitation efficiency have been documented and many periods of sustained inefficient precipitation production were noted. These and other findings suggest substantial cloud seeding opportunity for snowpack augmentation and provide useful insights regarding seeding opportunity recognition. Descriptive statistics and storm case examples are summarized.

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Scientific Papers