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‘Jordan to resume artificial rainmaking attempts this month’

Process to be implemented in cooperation with air force

By Hana Namrouqa - Nov 03,2016 - Last updated at Nov 03,2016

AMMAN — Jordan will resume during this month its artificial rainmaking attempts to increase precipitation for the 2016-2017 wet season, a government official said on Thursday.

“Cloud seeding agents will be distributed over the King Talal Dam’s catchment area starting next week and depending on several weather elements,” Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) Director Mohammad Samawi told The Jordan Times.

Samawi noted that the process will be implemented in cooperation with the Royal Jordanian Air Force, noting that the department has completed preparations for the next artificial rainmaking attempt and is waiting for the right weather conditions before it starts.

Such weather conditions include certain levels of humidity and water vapour, wind speed and the presence of clouds that are not likely to produce rain.

The department carried out its first artificial rainmaking experiment in spring, when a test was conducted also above the King Talal Dam’s catchment area. 

The experiment was implanted after Jordan and Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding on March 23 to benefit from the East Asian country’s experience in rainmaking technology.

The JMD sent a team of six meteorologists, a pilot and an engineer from the Royal Jordanian Air Force to participate in artificial rainmaking processes in Thailand.

“The team can now determine the appropriate weather conditions that can make an artificial rainmaking process succeed,” Samawi noted.

Artificial rainfall entails attempting to induce or increase precipitation.

According to the clouds’ different physical properties, this can be done using airplanes or rockets to sow the clouds with catalysts such as dry ice, silver iodide and salt powder to increase precipitation, according to web sources.

In Jordan, the JMD is planning to use two groups of seeding agents depending on whether a cloud is cold or warm, including calcium chloride and compressed carbon dioxide as freezing agents, and a compound of urea and ammonium nitrate for the absorption of moisture.

Samawi said in previous statements to The Jordan Times that the amount of rain produced from artificial rainmaking cannot be determined immediately, but noted that it can increase precipitation by 10-20 per cent.

He added that artificial rainmaking techniques seek to raise the amount of precipitation in Jordan, 90 per cent of which receives an average of 20-200 millimetres of rain per year, adding that increasing precipitation will raise dam storage and increase vegetation.

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