Nature is unpredictable and we all know that. Now, most of you will state that due to new technologies we can predict it pretty close, but I would argue on that and emphasized that “Prety Close” thing. Sometimes pretty close is not close enough.
Why did I start like this? Well, the fact is that people usually divide into two groups – those who like snow and those who like the sun. There is the third group that likes the rain but they are in minority and I am not going to address them.
Being the one that loves the snow is constantly being robbed. We snow lovers have just a few months every year where we can truly enjoy nature in its white crispy blanket. Since the climate has drastically shifted for the worse we get even less of that time which makes us angry and starting to look for options.
What would an option to the natural snow be? Well, it’s right in the title – manmade artificial snow that is produced by manmade snow machine. If nature is turning against us snow lovers, well we will take matters into our own hands and make ourselves some snow.
The question here today is what is the difference between artificial and natural snow, and we will try to answer it for all of you concerned.
Okay, so the snowmaking process is not that complicated at all. It is giving mother nature a helping hand when she refuses to make snow by herself. If you are wondering what are the perfect conditions for snow then you have to have atmospheric temperatures that are at or below freezing with a minimum possible amount of moisture in the air. Dry air helps out snow creation like you wouldn’t believe it. Some temperatures are considered to be too warm for snow to fall, but there can not be a temperature that is too cold for it to fall.
So for snow to fall you have to have a few of these conditions line up right, well yes and no. if these conditions line up snow doesn’t necessarily have to fall it depends on other things. Now, a season without or with very little snowfall is normal to have, but those seasons are making trouble for both us that love snow and the resorts that live off the snow. If they want to be open and offer any type of fun and games they have to resort to snow creation.
To create snow you need two machines or rather one that has two types. These machines are called snow guns and you can have a type that is a bit more complicated but less expensive or a less complicated but a bit more expensive one.
The first snow gun operates with two factors – air and water. It has two feeds that are making it complicated because those are two things you have to look for and repair in or below freezing temperatures and it is one more thing than with the first snow gun, that can go wrong. Now the principle of work here is to have both highly compressed air and water shoot at the same time out of this gun high in the air. The task of compressed air is to disperse the water into tiny droplets that are going high in the air and that will freeze until they hit the ground. Presto is artificial snow made out of all the components that mother nature makes, the difference is that you can have it on demand.
The second snow gun is a bit less complicated because it has only a water feed you have to take care of while the air comes from a giant fan built in the gun that disperses those droplets high enough in the air. One thing to remember here, if you want to create snow is that you have to give the water a few things if you want it to freeze until it hits the ground, hence creating the snow.
The first and most simple thing is to have the snow guns as high up as possible and pointed in the sky to boost those water particles as high as possible to give them enough time to freeze. Some choose to put the snow guns higher up on the slope or mountain to do so. After you get the right height you have to include other factors like temperature and humidity, which I already mentioned.
Now to successfully create snow and help mother nature you have to work together and have something that is called a wet-bulb temperature. This is a combination of actual air temperature and the amount of moisture in the air. Snowmaking is most efficient when the wet-bulb temperature is well below freezing but you can still make snow if the temps are near freezing as long as the air is good and dry. Dry air helps water droplets freeze a lot more quickly than when you have big humidity. There is something about evaporation that is the key here, so you have to have dry air to make snow.
So as you can see man-made machines like these snow guns are nothing too fancy and nothing too complicated when it comes to snowmaking. It is as simple as mother nature creates it with a little boost, if you like. It is pretty much the same snow you get when it normally snows, the only difference here is that you can have it on demand if you manage to fit all those factors in perfectly. Low temps, dry air and high enough for the water drops to freezing are the perfect factors that will give you snowflakes every time.
These machines have become imperative for every ski resort on the mountains because with the shifty weather and climate they can trust nature to do its work every time and for as long as they need it. It is not something new it is a means to survive and offer a successful season filled with fun and games. If the resort you pick out offers music shows and parties in the night with bands jamming on the stage concepts then you are in for a treat and a truly fulfilled snow season. What is better than freezing your face off during the day on slopes, and having a warm indoor party at night with a bunch of friends and some hot beverages?!