China Fires Rockets Into Sky To Make It Rain

Story By: John FengSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Asia Wire Report

AsiaWire

This footage shows Chinese weather officials making it rain by launching rockets into the sky in what is known as ‘cloud seeding’.

Beijing famously used cloud seeding technology to induce early rainfall and created an artificially dry Olympic season in 2008, while Moscow uses similar techniques to clear the skies for its annual Victory Day military parade every 9th May.

The weather administration in the tea-growing city of Pu’er, in south-western China’s Yunnan Province, began firing silver iodide rockets into the sky on Sunday (12th April) in order to create clouds.

The chemical increases condensation nuclei, encouraging the formation of water vapor and droplets, leading to rain or in some instances snowfall.

AsiaWire

The rockets are launched from stationary platforms or fired off the back of pickup trucks, with the technology now widely used across other regions including Baoshan, Liangshan and Yongde in the same province.

The Pu’er Meteorological Bureau said its cloud seeding work has successfully “quenched the thirst” of local farms, which produce tea and fruit.

Some 65 workers at 28 locations across the city are firing silver iodide rockets into the sky at regular intervals, with the work done in coordination with other weather centres in Yunnan Province, officials said.

Yin Chao, head of the meteorological bureau in Yongde County, said the region has experienced serious, livelihood-threatening drought in recent months.

AsiaWire

Mr Yin said: “In February Yongde recorded just 9.1 millimetres of rainfall, and in March the figure was 5 millimetres.

“That’s nearly 100 millimetres less than the same period last year. The lack of rainfall has led to droughts and serious forest fires.”

Mr Yin said artificially induced rainfall has already brought 4.5 millimetres of rain.

In neighbouring Sichuan Province, cloud seeding rockets are helping local agriculture and creating rainfall to douse bush fires, reports said.

AsiaWire

In the city of Changzhi, in China’s northern Shanxi Province, silver iodide rockets are creating more snow.

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John Feng

I am a senior journalist and editor, and have worked for a number of different news agencies over the last decade. I am currently editor-in-chief of the Asia Wire Report news wire.