Review of Wintertime Orographic Cloud Seeding

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  • 1 North American Weather Consultants, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Abstract

This review provides a sketchy background of orographic weather modification activities prior to the 1960s, followed by a more critical review of major orographic projects carried out and reported in the scientific literature during the past 25 years. In the earlier of these major projects, evaluation of results had been based largely upon comparisons of seeded and nonseeded precipitation experimental units stratified by various sounding-derived parameters in an attempt to amplify the physical significance of the seeding effects within various sub-types of orographic clouds.

The later major projects are still underway with no final evaluations having been presented. However, a wealth of significant data analyses have been reported that provide important insights into the various natural and seeding precipitation mechanisms. Much of this is attributable to the new observational tools in use, which include airborne and ground microphysical sensors, doppler radar, and microwave radiometers.

Abstract

This review provides a sketchy background of orographic weather modification activities prior to the 1960s, followed by a more critical review of major orographic projects carried out and reported in the scientific literature during the past 25 years. In the earlier of these major projects, evaluation of results had been based largely upon comparisons of seeded and nonseeded precipitation experimental units stratified by various sounding-derived parameters in an attempt to amplify the physical significance of the seeding effects within various sub-types of orographic clouds.

The later major projects are still underway with no final evaluations having been presented. However, a wealth of significant data analyses have been reported that provide important insights into the various natural and seeding precipitation mechanisms. Much of this is attributable to the new observational tools in use, which include airborne and ground microphysical sensors, doppler radar, and microwave radiometers.

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