City-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) has taken up scientific investigation of cloud seeding from July 3 this year under the Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX) programme.
The main objective of this experiment is to investigate suitable conditions in which cloud seeding works.
The experiment is not only expected to provide scientific guidelines for rain enhancement but also make recommendations for such activities over the arid rain shadow regions of Western Ghats.
The CAIPEEX Phase IV experiment will be conducted over 120 days, depending on the availability of clouds. Aurangabad has been selected as the base for aircraft observations.
IITM sources said that monsoon rainfall is quite heterogeneous and there is considerable interest in cloud seeding by state governments, when drought conditions are imminent.
“The main goal of the observational campaign of 2018-19 is to provide high quality observations of cloud and precipitation-related processes in natural and seeded clouds over the rain shadow region of Western Ghats,” he said.
Sources said that a scientific study of cloud seeding requires suitable infrastructure to select, seed, monitor clouds and evaluate their enhancement in precipitation. IITM has established an observational facility at Savitribai Phule Shikshan Prasarak Mandal’s N B Navale Sinhgad College of Engineering (SPSPM’s NBNSCOE), Solapur, and at Shri Tulja Bhavani College of Engineering, Tuljapur, Maharashtra.
“A dual polarimetric C-band radar has been installed and made operational in Solapur to monitor clouds and rain in an area of 200 km radius. Two aircrafts, a seeder and an instrumented research aircraft, are being used to seed clouds and document the changes in clouds, leading to rainfall,”a source said.
Aurangabad has been selected as the base for aircraft observations. Major efforts in 2018 will be to seed areas north of Solapur, within the radar range,” the source added.
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