The Persistence of Seeding Effects in a Winter Orographic Cloud Seeded with Silver Iodide Burned in Acetone

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  • 1 Bureau of Reclamation, Auburn, California
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Abstract

A single case-study of a winter orographic cloud over the central Sierra Nevada is presented in which the effects of aerial seeding with silver iodide, an AgI NH4C1O4 mixture burned in acetone, were observed to persist for over 90 min after seeding and 100 km downwind of the seedline. A research aircraft was able to locate and track the line source of AgI using an ice nucleus counter. High ice crystal concentrations due to seeding were not apparent until more than one hour after seeding. This may have been partially due to the high natural concentrations of ice, but post-mission analysis revealed that most sampling passes during the first hour following seeding were made below the AgI seeded volume. Ice nucleus measurements confirmed sampling of the seedline from 1–1.5 h after seeding, with associated increases in ice crystal concentrations. The effectiveness of the seeding material in the field was higher than laboratory measurements would suggest.

Abstract

A single case-study of a winter orographic cloud over the central Sierra Nevada is presented in which the effects of aerial seeding with silver iodide, an AgI NH4C1O4 mixture burned in acetone, were observed to persist for over 90 min after seeding and 100 km downwind of the seedline. A research aircraft was able to locate and track the line source of AgI using an ice nucleus counter. High ice crystal concentrations due to seeding were not apparent until more than one hour after seeding. This may have been partially due to the high natural concentrations of ice, but post-mission analysis revealed that most sampling passes during the first hour following seeding were made below the AgI seeded volume. Ice nucleus measurements confirmed sampling of the seedline from 1–1.5 h after seeding, with associated increases in ice crystal concentrations. The effectiveness of the seeding material in the field was higher than laboratory measurements would suggest.

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