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Artificial rain experiment to be conducted in Solapur

Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX) would be the project’s name, said Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology officials

pune Updated: May 14, 2019 16:32 IST
Shrinivas
Shrinivas
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Solapur,Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment
A special aeroplane will seed dark clouds with sodium chloride or calcium chloride as part of the experiment(HT PHOTO)

Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) has decided to conduct another artificial rain experiment in Maharashtra’s arid Solapur district between June and October 2019.

A special aeroplane will seed dark clouds with sodium chloride or calcium chloride as part of the experiment.

Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX) would be the project’s name, said Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology officials.

The project aims to study the aerosol-cloud precipitation interaction and find scientific protocols for rain enhancement.

Scientists have been making airborne observations in different parts of the country to understand rain formation mechanisms and influence of aerosol on cloud processes.

This is needed to make progress in targeting clouds for rain enhancement. Their efforts are to find how cloud seeding may enhance rain, and in what conditions and in what type of clouds cloud seeding works.

“Data collected from these efforts are also used to improve representation of clouds in numerical models used to predict monsoon,”said Thara Prabhakaran who is currently leading the Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX) experiments in hygroscopic cloud seeding.

In 2018, IITM has conducted the same experiment over Solapur region, however the samples collected in 2018 was not enough to arrive at the conclusion, said Prabhakaran.

M Rajeevan secretary of India Ministry of Earth Sciences (MOES) said,”though the project is being executed for experimental reasons, the rainfall created will be helpful for the region. So, we have selected rain shadow area.”

Officials concerned revealed that the project cost would be at least ₹10 lakh per day as the hiring cost of aircraft is expensive.

“We do not have cloud seeding capable aircraft in the country and need to be imported. In countries like USA, Australia, China, Thailand and Russia, they have their own aircraft to conduct such exercises. They execute weather modification programme with specific objectives,” said Prabhakaran.

First Published: May 14, 2019 16:31 IST