Saturday, November 03, 2007

Beijing Weather Controllers

With questions being raised about Beijing’s air quality for the Olympic Games in August, 2008, it is also to be expected that people are asking about the weather.

According to records Beijing has a 50% chance of rain during the Opening Ceremony on 8th August, 2008. In order to limit the chance of rain, Beijing’s weathermen have been experimenting with ways to bring the weather under control. In fact there are 26 weather modification test sites around Beijing where artificial methods are being used to disperse rain.

Rockets using silver iodine or liquid nitrogen as catalysts are fired high into the air to strike cumulonimbus clouds, therefore inducing rain before the clouds reach Olympic venues. It is said that the whole process does not pollute the environment.

Three lines of defence have been established around the National Stadium in zones of 20km, 60km and 100km out from the stadium.

Beijing experiences hot, humid summers influenced by the East Asian monsoons. Bad summer weather usually occurs during July and August, so the expertise of all weather forecasters and rain dispersers will be vital to keeping competitors and spectators dry.

A team of more than 30 experts has been pulled together to forecast weather for Beijing and the Olympic venues. Officials, coaches, venue managers and athletes will all be briefed on weather conditions.


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