At Cheyenne’s Regional Airport, a King Air C90 aircraft is ready for Wyoming’s airborne cloud seeding project to take off. This unique aircraft, outfitted with flare racks, is scheduled to help increase snowpack in the targeted remote areas of the Sierra Madre and Medicine Bow Mountains.
The City of Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities (Board) continues to watch weather conditions in the mountains where winter snow equals Cheyenne’s future drinking water supplies. With unpredictable winter snowpack amounts and Cheyenne’s dependence on snowpack for water supply is reason the Board is partnering with the Wyoming Water Development Commission Office’s (WWDO) Weather Modification program, commonly known as the WWDO Cloud Seeding program, this winter.
“Cheyenne’s water supply is very snowpack dependent. The risk that running out of water or inability to fill our reservoirs like the drought of 2002 are high. Anything the Board can do to mitigate water shortages can only enhance our community,” said Board’s Director, Brad Brooks.
WWDO Cloud Seeding program uses well-established technology to enhance a cloud’s ability to produce snow. Flare racks on the aircraft scatters a very small amount of silver iodide into specific winter cloud types, a compound that cloud water easily attaches to. This then forms ice crystals which eventually becomes snowflakes. This technology is not new, is well researched and has been used for decades by ski resorts and even different countries to produce snow.
Cloud seeding flights in the targeted remote locations of the Sierra Madre and Medicine Bow Mountains start November 15, 2018 and run through March 2019. Questions about the Cloud Seeding program can be directed to WWDO, Julie Gondzar at 307-777-7626 or more information at wwdc.state.wy.us. Watch the skies for the King Air C90 aircraft these coming months. Remember winter snow equals Cheyenne’s future H2O.