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Cloud seeding aircraft arrives from North Dakota

DH News Service, Bengaluru, Aug 15 2017, 1:13 IST

A specially-designed American aircraft, that will be used to take up cloud seeding, landed at the Jakkur airfield on Monday.

The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) department is planning to start cloud seeding tentatively from August 18 at a cost of Rs 35 crore, covering areas that have received deficit rainfall. The target is to cover the basins of Cauvery, Malaprabha and Tungabhadra rivers.

Cloud seeding, which involves spreading aerosols (silver iodide or sodium chloride) into the upper part of clouds to stimulate the precipitation process to form rains, was last taken up in the state in 2003 under the S M Krishna government. Back then, the 83-day exercise was successful, the department officials said.

The aircraft, which is a Beechcraft King Air with a rate of climb of 2,460-feet per minute, has been manufactured by North Dakota-based Weather Modification LLC, the same company that provided an aircraft for the 2003 cloud seeding drive. RDPR Minister H K Patil inspected the aircraft at the Jakkur airfield.

So far, since June, Karnataka's rainfall has been 26% less than what was expected. The north and south interior parts of the state, including the coast, have received deficit rainfall, according to the Meteorology department data.

The cloud seeding will be aided by three radars that are being installed at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru, Shorapur in Yadgir district and one in Gadag. These radars — expected to be commissioned in a couple of days — will help authorities identify clouds that are suitable for seeding.


In July 2008, Patil took up a private initiative to initiate cloud seeding in Gadag, Haveri and Dharwad districts, which resulted in increase in rainfall in the range of 20 mm to 45 mm, a statement said.

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