THURSDAY MARCH 1 - MAKING SNOW


The number one snowmaking machine is the atmosphere. But since Mother Nature doesn't always oblige, we've figured out artificial ways to make snow.

As you might suspect, water is the raw material. The water is pumped into a specialized nozzle, or "snowgun," where it collides with highly pressurized air. The air shatters the stream of water into tiny, tiny droplets, and then launches the droplets high into the air. As the pressurized air expands, it cools, helping to start the droplets freezing. They finish freezing in the air and fall as snow.

It takes a lot of water to make snow. For example, to cover an area the size of a football field with a foot of snow would take the water needed to fill ten backyard pools. Now there's a thought to keep winter alive even as we head back into the warm season.

Today's our last day here in the mountains. I'd like to thank my producer Eleanor Ingersoll, videographer and digital editor Don Francisco, and the folks here at Blue Mountain Ski Area for their help with this series. I'm Dr. Jon Nese, I'll see you again next Monday from back in the warmer confines of The Franklin Institute.

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