January 24, 2023

Leave the Snow Up to Compressed Air

We know that in the Midwest we don’t always know what to expect from our winter weather. Sometimes we receive tons of snow, and sometimes we barely get any! This can be problematic for those of us who enjoy winter sports that are dependent on ample snow production! Did you know that a common use of compressed air is for snowmaking? That’s right, recreational ski resorts utilize compressed air for snowmaking all the time. So, no snow in the winter, no problem- you can still hit the slopes and feel as if you are in a winter wonderland, if temperatures cooperate.

How Compressed Air is Used to Make Snow

Making snow requires pressurized air to force water through a snow gun that blow out below freezing temperatures to create snow. These snow guns release the right mix of air and water into the environment to turn water into snow. They can come in different forms with various nozzles to release in different spray patterns depending on the application of the artificial snow.

Compressed air is specifically used in the following steps:

  1. First, water is pumped from the water source (usually a pond) into the pipes.
  2. Next, pressurized air carries the water upward to higher elevations and cooler temperatures.
  3. Finally, water is shot out of the gun angled upward over the slopes to release artificial snow.

Necessary Conditions for Snowmaking

  • Wet bulb temperature of below 28-degrees-Fahrenheit (F)
  • High enough elevations to support and maintain snow
  • A thick enough layer of artificial snow to maintain artificial snow on the ground
  • A water source & proper piping system to be used for snowmaking

Benefits of Making Snow with Compressed Air 


Instead of relying on the weather to determine if there will be snow on the ground, you are in the driver’s seat with proper compressed air technology, a water source, and piping.


Unlike real snowflakes, artificial snow is made the exact same way with the same number of materials each time. This means that there is no variation in the shape or size, making artificial snow a more consistent option than real snow.


Artificial snow is also thicker, providing better support than real snow. Real snowflakes are made of mostly air, while artificial snowflakes are made more of water, so they are firmer and thus more supportive.


Since you are in control of the snowmaking process with artificial snow, and it is more consistent, artificial snow is also more reliable for both better snowy recreational activities and season longevity.


Because artificial snow is full of more water than air, it accumulates in a round shape rather than a star shape. This helps slow the shrinking/melting process helping it withstand conditions longer than a real snowflake would.



Zorn is the Midwest leader of custom, engineered compressed air and vacuum solutions. We provide the best customer experience by understanding your applications and needs and offering an unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Our comprehensive product and service solutions keep you running 24/7.

  • Reliable equipment
  • Trusted brands
  • Seamless, easy installation
  • Post-sales support
  • Local, 24/7 service

Our compressed air experts look forward to meeting you to discuss your equipment and support needs. Please contact us directly at (262) 695-7000 with any questions or to schedule service for your system moving forward.

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