Snow cannon

So it doesn’t snow enough where you live? Fear not — if it gets cold, you can cover that front lawn in white, fluffy snow with your own homemade snow gun. All you need are a few items from your local hardware store, some quality spray nozzles, and access to a pressure washer and an air compressor :-)

My snow cannon in full action during a cold winter day a few years ago.

My snow cannon is based on an external-mixing design. It mixes pressurized air and water externally after spraying them out through 2 types of nozzles that work together cleverly. To understand how it works, remember high school chemistry: the smaller a particle is, the more surface area it has relative to its volume. Generally, that makes it easier to freeze. This is the job of the nucleation nozzle; it breaks the water into very small particles, making it possible for them to nucleate, or freeze quickly around their own impurities, thus generating a spray of superfine ice crystals. This ice mist then crosses the spray from the 2 bulk nozzles, which supply the bulk of the water for our snowmaking. Droplets from the bulk spray freeze to the nucleated ice crystals, creating fluffy snow.