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State to begin cloud seeding program after drought

California plans to use silver iodide to increase the snowfall from winter storms.

Published on November 11, 2013 10:00AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has plans to begin cloud seeding this winter in an effort to replenish state watersheds as a second drought year comes to an end.

The Sacramento Bee reports that planes will be used to disperse silver iodide vapor into the atmosphere during winter storms to promote the formation of snowflakes.

Cloud seeding is done only when temperatures within the clouds are between 19 and 4 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Dudley McFadden of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District tells the newspaper that cloud seeding enhances precipitation that’s already occurring.

In a report this year, the California Department of Water Resources estimated that cloud seeding projects generate 400,000 acre-feet of additional water supply annually in the state. That’s about equal to half the volume of Folsom Reservoir.


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