Science behind making snow

The science of making snow

AFTON, Minn. - The process of making snow is a lot harder than you think for ski resorts, so I decided to talk to one of the experts.

"So there is three things that you need to make snow, you need air, water and the temperature," said Nathan Hakseth, Mountain Manager at Afton Alps.

According to Nathan, the desired temperature to start making snow is 27 degrees, anything warmer and the snow will be too sticky.

"If there is a lot more humidity out there it's going to make a lot more wet snow and we want a dry snow out here, it will be a better quality for our guests," said Nathan.

So we know the desired temperature, and we know we want low humidity, but how does air play a part in it? 

Look at this image of a snow machine, as water flows into it outside air is introduced. That causes evaporation. When water evaporates it cools down the air. That can accelerate the time it takes for the liquid water to freeze into an ice crystal.

Also, as air gets pushed out of the small nozzles, as it expands that also creates a cooling effect that can aid in the snow making.

The process of making perfect snow for all of our ski resorts in the area will take some more time and we will need some more cold days but at least today it's looking pretty good.


 

© 2017 KARE-TV


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