Making it Snow: A Brief History and Review of the Science Behind Cloud-Seeding

Featured researchers
March 15, 2023

The snow-inducing technique called cloud-seeding has been around for more than 60 years. Although not a panacea for drought-stricken regions, cloud-seeding can increase seasonal precipitation by about 10%. In the Reno area alone, winter cloud-seeding efforts are estimated to add enough water to supply about 40,000 households for a year.

What is Cloud Seeding?

Cloud Seeding Program What is Cloud Seeding? Clouds are made up of tiny water droplets or ice crystals that form when water vapor in the atmosphere cools and condenses around a tiny particle of dust or salt floating in the...

Cloud Seeding Projects

Cloud Seeding Program Cloud Seeding Research Projects Research on Snowfall AugmentationOperational weather modification projects to augment snowfall have benefitted from the results of numerous research experiments that have...

Cloud Seeding Program

Cloud Seeding Program Program Description During the early 1960s, scientists from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) helped to pioneer the science of wintertime cloud seeding, developing research-based methods for increasing...

Cloud Seeding Operations Criteria

Cloud Seeding Program Cloud Seeding Operations Criteria The following weather and cloud conditions should exist in order to initiate or continue cloud seeding operations in any area where DRI has a seeding project. Operations...

Advanced Autonomous Systems

Advanced Autonomous Systems Pioneering Research with UAS Technology Researchers at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) are exploring ways in which unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are increasingly being used in civilian...

Putting the Knowledge Fund to Work

Featured projects
January 29, 2019
Created in 2013 by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Knowledge Fund spurs research, innovation, and commercialization in Nevada. Thanks to support from the Knowledge Fund, researchers across the Silver...

Cloud Seeding Safety Guidelines

Cloud Seeding Program Cloud Seeding Safety Guidelines In the event of any emergency which affects public welfare in the region of any seeding operations being carried on by the DRI Cloud Seeding Program, the seeding operations...

Meet Jim Hudson, Ph.D.

Featured researchers
February 20, 2019
Jim Hudson, Ph.D., is a research professor of physics with the Division of Atmospheric Sciences at the Desert Research Institute in Reno. Jim specializes in cloud physics, and has worked throughout his career to gather and...

SMART Laboratory

The Statistical data analysis and Modeling of Atmosphere for Research and AI Technology (SMART) Lab studies Earth’s atmosphere and climate.

Cloud Seeding Equipment and Services

Cloud Seeding Program Cloud Seeding Equipment and Services The DRI Cloud Seeding Program is operated from the Desert Research Institute Division of Atmospheric Sciences, located in the Northern Nevada Science Center (NNSC),...

DRI’s History

DRI’s History A 60-year history of impact and innovation across Nevada and around the world. In 1959, the Nevada State Legislature passed NRS396.7951, creating a division of the University of Nevada specifically devoted to...

Current Cloud Seeding Operations

Cloud Seeding Program Current Cloud Seeding Operations Winter 2023-2024 For details on a specific project, follow the links below. Nevada State projects State NV Carson Basin State NV Ruby Mountains State NV Santa Rosa Mountains...

Secrets of Successful Solar

Featured projects
September 4, 2018
Photo caption: Prototype sky-imaging camera. Credit: Eric Wilcox.   By: Jane Palmer Reno, NV (September 1, 2018) – Solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source, but integrating solar power into the grid is not...

Airborne Systems Research and Environmental Testing at DRI

Featured projects
October 24, 2018
Visit DRI’s Northern Nevada campus on a clear afternoon, and you may hear a near-deafening buzzing. A massive swarm of bees? Thankfully, no—it’s an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), or drone, being flown by researchers from...

Maki Research Projects

Maki Endowment Maki  Research Projects The Maki Endowment has been used to fund research projects that are relevant to Southern Nevada water issues. A list of Maki projects is below. Display (none) Your content goes here. Edit...

About DRI

About DRI Science That Matters Now We are Nevada’s non-profit research institute, founded in 1959 to empower experts to focus on science that matters. We work with communities across the state –and the world– to address their...

Home Page

Working to solve our most challenging environmental problems. Since 1959, the faculty, students, and staff at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) have advanced scientific knowledge to help solve pressing environmental challenges and improve human health.

Climate Engine offers unprecedented access to Earth image datasets

News releases
Research findings
December 7, 2017
Reno, NV (Thursday, December 7, 2017): Working with large environmental datasets is a complex and time-consuming endeavor, often requiring huge amounts of data storage, specialized high-performance computers and technical...

Field Equipment

Integrated Terrain Analysis Program Field Equipment Field Equipment & Capabilities The Integrated Terrain Analysis Program utilizes a wide range of field equipment and instrumentation for characterizing soil properties,...

Trace Chemistry/Ice Core Laboratory

Trace Chemistry/Ice Core Laboratory Lab Description DRI’s Trace Chemistry Laboratory was established in 1967 specifically to provide support for monitoring and assessing the impacts of the cloud seeding activities...

Cloud Seeding Partners in the Community

Cloud Seeding Program DRI Sponsors and Partners in Water Resource Enhancement Research Across the West   Cloud Seeding Program What is Cloud Seeding? Current Operations Operating Criteria Safety Guidelines Equipment and...

ASTER Laboratory

ASTER Laboratory Lab Description The Airborne Systems Testing and Environmental Research (ASTER) Laboratory at the Desert Research Institute conducts and facilitates the development and use of unmanned aircraft, payloads, and...

DRI and the Springs Preserve Launch Adult Science Education Series

News releases
April 4, 2023

DRI, in partnership with the Springs Preserve, announces the launch of DRI Science at the Springs. In the series, which launches on April 20, DRI scientists and other guests address some of the world’s most urgent concerns while also telling the tale of what it means to live in Nevada on the front lines of a changing climate.

Aerosol Physics Laboratory

Aerosol Physics Laboratory Lab Description The Aerosol Physics Lab (APL) is primarily concerned with measurement and characterization of the particles upon which cloud droplets condense. These cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) are...

In Memoriam – Dr. John Hallett

News releases
November 15, 2018
Please join us for the Celebration of Life for Dr. John Hallett on Monday, December 17th from 3pm-5pm in the DRI Stout Conference Center, located at 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512.  Please RSVP to Britt Chapman by Monday,...

High Performance Computational Services (HPCS)

High Performance Computational Services (HPCS) High Performance Computational Services (HPCS) DRI’s High Performance Computational Services (HPCS) team offers cost effective, responsive, adaptable, and technologically...

Western States Water Use Program

Western States Water Use Program Program Description The quantification of consumptive water use via evapotranspiration ET is required for basin water balance estimates, for estimating streamflow and groundwater depletion...

Making Sense of Remote Sensing: A Q&A with Matt Bromley

Featured researchers
September 28, 2020

Matt Bromley, M.S., is an Assistant Research Scientist with the Division of Hydrologic Sciences at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, and specializes in GIS and remote sensing. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and a M.S. in Geography from the University of Nevada, Reno. He is a native Nevadan, an Army veteran, and has been a member of the DRI community for ten years.

A New, Rigorous Assessment of OpenET Accuracy for Supporting Satellite-Based Water Management 

News releases
Research findings
January 16, 2024

A new study offers a comprehensive multi-model, large-scale accuracy assessment of an operational satellite-based data system to compute evapotranspiration. The researchers found that OpenET data has high accuracy for assessing evapotranspiration in agricultural settings, particularly for annual crops like wheat, corn, soy, and rice.

Atmospheric Sciences

Atmospheric Sciences Atmospheric Sciences The Division of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) conducts basic and applied research and provides services related to air quality and associated health risks, cloud and aerosol physics,...

Earth and Ecosystem Sciences

Earth and Ecosystem Sciences The Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences (DEES) is one of three scientific research divisions within DRI. Since its inception in 1999, DEES has grown steadily and built a strong program of...

Nevada Solar Nexus Project: 2013-2018

Featured projects
November 30, 2018
“I knew our research institutions were doing solar energy research, but I didn’t realize how much they were doing,” said Nevada State Assemblyman Chris Brooks in welcoming attendees to the “Solar Nexus: Nevada’s Research...

Mission Support Geosciences and Engineering

MISSION SUPPORT GEOSCIENCES AND ENGINEERING Mission Support encompasses DRI’s broad range of expertise for supporting the mission needs of the U.S. Dept. of Defense and the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s underground testing assessment,...

Spatial Analysis Capabilities

Spatial Analysis Capabilities Lab Description The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is recog­nized for significant applications of spatial data (geographic information systems (GIS) and remotely sensed data) to ad­dress...

NWRRI Funded Projects

Nevada Water Resources Research Institute NWRRI Funded Projects The following ventures are the most recently funded projects by NWRRI. This work is supported by the U.S. Geological Survey under Grant/Cooperative Agreement No....

DRI-Liberia Capacity Building

Center for International Water and Sustainability DRI-Liberia Capacity Building Program CIWAS supported the Liberian government to help develop national water quality monitoring capacity. CIWAS hosted a training and capacity...