Final phase of cloud seeding project

Scientists will soon carry out the final phase of a cloud seeding research programme.

Pune: In a joint exercise, three nodal meteorological agencies led by a team of scientists from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) will soon carry out the final phase of a cloud seeding research programme for a possible application in the rain shadow regions in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
To aid the project undertaken as part of CAIPEX (Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment) programme of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, aircraft, fitted with specialised instruments, will be hired from South Africa and Israel, and have an operational base in Hyderabad, said J R Kulkarni, IITM scientist, who is the Project Director, heading a team of 20 researchers.

The other two agencies involved in the two-year Rs 50-crore project envisaged to benefit the rain-starved regions of the three states, are Indian Meteorological Department and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting.

"The second and the final operational phase of the project, to be completed before the current monsoon season, will include warm cloud seeding through salt and hygroscopic flares. The experiment will help in understanding as to how aerosol interact with cloud leading to enhancement of rain," Kulkarni said.

As part of the final phase operations, two aircraft will be used for seeding and suspending tiny particles in the atmosphere with the help of a "C-band radar" to see the cloud.

"CAIPEX will help scientists identify methodology to enhance precipitation (rain)," he said, adding meteorological sub-divisions had been referred to to select the peninsular rain shadow regions for the project.


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