The first snow of the season fell on Beijing this weekend but this was no normal snowfall in the cold but bone dry capital. It has been ordered by the Orwellian sounding Beijing Weather Modification Office. According to the bureau 186 “doses” of silver iodide had been used to seed clouds and increase snowfall by 16 million tons.
10 million bicycles in Beijing
The Beijing hinterland is also home to a number of ski slopes. These largely use man-made snow. However cloud seeding is old technology. It is used by farmers but also by ski resorts. Both Winter Park and Vail spend big bucks on cloud season to increase snow cover. French wine growers use the technology to protect vines from hail clouds.