Answerland: Vail’s cloud-seeding working?
Did Vail Resorts’ cloud seeding program have any effect on this year’s “epic” ski season?
Cloud seeding had an “impact” on snowfall this year, said Vail Associates spokeswoman Jen Brown.
“However, the majority of the early storms were southwest, which is not the optimum direction based on generator locations,” Brown said in an e-mail.
Larry Hjermstad of Durango-based Western Weather Consultants, which Vail Associates hires to seed clouds, did not return a phone call.
Hjermstad has said he estimates that cloud seeding can increase snowfall from anywhere from 10 to 25 percent.
The Vail-Beaver Creek program uses silver iodide that’s emitted from about 17 cloud-seeding generators in Eagle, Bond, State Bridge, Wolcott, Gypsum and Beaver Creek.
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Due to budget shortfalls, Vail Resorts has pulled this winter’s funding for its cloud seeding program — the longest-running in the state at 44 years — potentially reducing the amount of water flowing down the…