Cloud seeding – how it works |

Cloud seeding – how it works

Clouds are formed when water vapor condenses around microscopic particles in the atmosphere. These particles, called condensation nuclei, are ever-present and come from dust, smoke, salt and even pollution.

Rain occurs when these microscopic droplets combine to form drops heavy enough to fall to earth.

To form snow, ice crystals grow around additional particles – called ice nuclei – in the atmosphere. Ice nuclei can be natural particles or manmade particles such as silver iodide. When the ice crystals grow large enough and heavy enough, they fall to the earth as snow.

Some clouds in Colorado have plenty of moisture but not enough natural nuclei to yield as much precipitation as possible. Cloud seeding adds more nuclei to the process. Nature does the rest.

Silver iodide can be seeded into the clouds from the ground, using a generator that sprays tiny silver iodide particles into the atmosphere. There, natural wind patterns and updrafts carry them into the targeted clouds.

– From the Colorado Water Conservation Board

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User