Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 5:15 PM
Synoptic and Mesoscale Patterns Associated with Super-Cooled Liquid Water over the Medicine Bow and Sierra Madre Mountains
214A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Snowpack in the Western high mountains during the winter and the attendant spring runoff provides needed water to lower elevations. Agriculture, recreation, water supply, and hydro-electric power are but a few of the users of this renewable resource. Snowpack becomes even more critical over of the Intermountain West during the moderate to extreme drought conditions reported by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. Although SNOTEL gauges within the Medicine Bow and Sierra Madre Mountain ranges initially recorded snow water equivalents (SWE's) nearly 130% of average by February 2006, much of the Intermountain West remained below seasonal normals. Cloud seeding technology for enhanced snowpack may be beneficial for long term water management. The Wyoming Weather Modification Pilot Project is a five year cloud seeding program contracted by the Wyoming Water Development Commission. The program contains a cloud seeding phase with snowpack and runoff evaluations within Wyoming's Green River, Wind River and Platte River basins. Although one might examine weather patterns that would produce the heaviest snowfall over the mountains, it is more important in cloud seeding operations to find synoptic and mesoscale conditions that produce the greatest amount of super-cooled liquid water in clouds. This study will be the initial step in examining the synoptic and mesoscale patterns over the Medicine Bow and Sierra Madre Mountain ranges that will provide the optimal conditions for cloud seeding operations. A future study will compare snowfall rates with WSR88 Doppler Radar reflectivity over the Medicine Bow and Sierra Madre Mountain ranges.