PyeongChang 2018: Snow-Making

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These days artificial snow-making is a standard practice for ski resorts, allowing them to jump-start the early part of the season. Snow guns continuously spray a mixture of cold water and particulates 5 or more meters in the air to generate artificial snow. The tiny droplet size helps the water freeze faster and the particles provide nucleation sites for snow crystals to form. As with natural snow, the shape and consistency of the snow depends on humidity and temperature conditions. Pyeongchang is generally cold and dry, so even the artificial snow there tends to be similar to snow in the Colorado Rockies. Recreational skiers tend to look down on artificial snow, but Olympic course designers actually prefer it. With artificial snow, they can control every aspect of an alpine course. For them, natural snowfall is a disruption that puts their design at risk. (Video credit: Reactions/American Chemical Society)

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