Vail Resorts has suspended cloud seeding operations this winter season due to budget shortfalls associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Summit Daily reports the 44 year old program is the longest running in the state. They will save $300,000 by calling it off for 2020-21 season. Vail Resorts normally cloud seeds to increase snowfall at ski resorts and more generally in watersheds. The most recent study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research found that cloud seeding creates a 5-15% increase in snow accumulation per storm under the right storm setup.
“We tracked the seeding plume from the time we put it into the cloud until it generated snow that actually fell onto the ground.” –Katja Friedrich University of Colorado Boulder