Iran to carry out cloud seeding project within two weeks

February 2, 2020 - 17:48

TEHRAN – A cloud seeding project will be carried out within the next two weeks in some northern, central and southern provinces of the country, Farid Golkar, head of Iran’s National Cloud Seeding Research Center, has announced.

Cloud seeding, a form of weather modification, is a method to change the amount or even type of precipitation. Rainfall occurs when supercooled droplets of water – those that are still liquid but are at a temperature below the usual freezing point of zero centigrade – form ice crystals. Now too heavy to remain suspended in the air, these then fall, often melting on their way down to form rain.

Even in dry areas the air usually contains some water. This can be made to come together and form ice crystals by seeding the atmosphere with chemicals such as silver iodide or dry ice. They work to promote rainfall by inducing nucleation – what little water is in the air condenses around the newly introduced particles and crystallizes to form ice. The ‘seeds’ can be delivered by plane or simply by spraying from the ground.

Golkar explained that the operation will be carried out on the Zagros and Alborz Mountains in the north, Isfahan and Yazd provinces in the center, and Fars and Kerman provinces in the south.

The first cloud seeding project was launched in the Iranian calendar year 1395 (March 2016-March 2017), he stated, adding that, each operation can lead to a 10-15 percent increase in precipitation.

He went on to highlight that this year, a total budget of 70 billion rials (about $1.6 million) has been earmarked in this regard.

The latest statistics released by the Meteorological Organization show that the country received 136.9 millimeters of precipitations since the beginning of the current water year (September 23, 2019), which is 4.9 percent more than the same period a year before.

Moreover, the long term average rainfall was estimated at 109 mm, demonstrating a 25 percent raise in the rainfall this year. However, some provinces of the country are dealing with rainfall shortages and cloud seeding may be a way to ease precipitation scarcity.

FB/MG

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