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Fog Seeding At Medford Airport

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MEDFORD, Ore. — The freezing fog is making it difficult for planes to take off. A solution to clear it out is now causing problems for drivers.

People from Eagle Point to Ashland experienced snow fall Thursday morning, but it was all man-made. Airport officials are fog seeding at the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport.

Out at the airport, residue from the fog seeding is only visible in the areas that were shaded all day, but snow was fairly thick around the region in the morning because of the efforts.

This is the second day in a row crews decided to fog seeding. It’s a method where crews release a balloon 500 feet up in the air with a cable and it releases ground-up dried ice. That dry ice collects with the moisture and ends up making a snow-like substance.

It’s a process that allows airplanes to land in the valley and stay on schedule, but drivers say it can cause visibility issues. The airport does this fog seeding only when it hits below freezing temperatures. Last year, crews fog seeded 14 times; this year, it’s five.

The airport also notifies the Oregon Department of Transportation and police agencies that fog seeding will be happening before they begin to give people a heads up. Officials plan to continue fog seeding as long as there’s heavy fog.