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Evaluating Winter Orographic Cloud Seeding: Design of the Wyoming Weather Modification Pilot Project (WWMPP)

journal contribution
posted on 01.02.2014, 00:00 by D. Breed, R. Rasmussen, C. Weeks, B. Boe, Terry Deshler
An overview of the Wyoming Weather Modification Pilot Project (WWMPP) is presented. This project, funded by the State of Wyoming, is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of cloud seeding with silver iodide in the Medicine Bow and Sierra Madre Ranges of south-central Wyoming. The statistical evaluation is based on a randomized crossover design for the two barriers. The description of the experimental design includes the rationale behind the design choice, the criteria for case selection, facilities for operations and evaluation, and the statistical analysis approach. Initial estimates of the number of cases needed for statistical significance used historical Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) data (1987-2006), prior to the beginning of the randomized seeding experiment. Refined estimates were calculated using high-resolution precipitation data collected during the initial seasons of the project (2007-10). Comparing the sample size estimates from these two data sources, the initial estimates are reduced to 236 (110) for detecting a 10% (15%) change. The sample size estimates are highly dependent on the assumed effect of seeding, on the correlations between the two target barriers and between the target and control sites, and on the variance of the response variable, namely precipitation. In addition to the statistical experiment, a wide range of physical studies and ancillary analyses are being planned and conducted.







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Journal title

Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology


Faculty Publications - Atmospheric Science