A confirmatory snowfall enhancement project in the Snowy Mountains of Australia. Part 1: Project design and response variables

Michael Manton, Loredana Warren, Suzanne Kenyon, Andrew Peace, S Bilish, Karen Kemsley

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he Snowy Precipitation Enhancement Research Project (SPERP) was undertaken from May 2005 to June 2009 in the Snowy Mountains of southeastern Australia with the aim of enhancing snowfall in westerly flows associated with winter cold fronts. Building on earlier field studies in the region, SPERP was developed as a confirmatory experiment of glaciogenic static seeding using a silver-chloroiodide material dispersed from ground-based generators. Seeding of 5-h experimental units (EUs) was randomized with a seeding ratio of 2:1. A total of 107 EUs were undertaken at suitable times, based on surface and upper-air observations. Indium (III) oxide was released during all EUs for comparison of indium and silver concentrations in snow in seeded and unseeded EUs to test the targeting of seeding material. A network of gauges was deployed at 44 sites across the region to detect whether precipitation was enhanced in a fixed target area of 832 km 2, using observations from a fixed control area to estimate the natural precipitation in the target. Additional measurements included integrated supercooled liquid water at a site in the target area and upper-air data from a site upwind of the target
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1432 - 1447
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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