Cloud seeding: Slight delay due to California quake

The California earthquake has affected cloud seeding operation in Karnataka. Due to the earthquake, the arrival of aircraft and other equipment has been delayed, pushing cloud seeding to the third week of July.

Speaking to DH, H S Prakash Kumar, Chief Engineer, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department, said that the aircraft and other equipment were scheduled to reach Karnataka by Monday. “However, due to the earthquake it will reach by Thursday or Friday, following which cloud seeding operations will start in the state,” he said.

The project, which was initially planned to be launched in the last week of June or the first week of July has been affected by delays.

All required clearances for the project have been received by the government. “Clearance from the Customs Department will be issued as soon as the aircraft and the equipment are brought to the state,” he said. The project is being taken up at a cost of
Rs 45 crore by Kyathi Climate Modification Consultants and US-based Weather Modification Incorporated during the current monsoon season.

Apart from two aircraft, three Radars will also be flown into the country to track the availability of rain-bearing clouds for seeding. The Radars will be placed in three locations across the state.

Rainfall data

Owing to the delay in the onset of monsoon, the state has received 25 per cent less rainfall as of July 5. Though there are indications of improved monsoon conditions during the first half of July, below normal rainfall is expected in the second half according to Numerical Weather Prediction Division of IMD.

Till July 5, Malnad and coastal districts have been the worst hit due to weak monsoons. While Coastal districts has received 32 per cent less rainfall, Malnad districts have received 39 per cent less, according to Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Cell.

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