August 9, 2009 5:25:06 am
The first cloud seeding experiment of the season resulted in 16 mm rainfall at Modaksagar dam on Friday morning. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation carried out the experiment at Tansa dam around 11 am and the showers occurred at Modaksagar,22 km away,around 12.30 pm. The cloud movement that followed the seeding might be the reason,according to officials.
The rainfall lasted for three hours. The experiment was conducted though the climatic conditions a cloud cover of 7-10,000 ft thickness,temperature of 5 degree Celsius at cloud summit,a minimum 70 per cent humidity and wind velocity between 20 km and 50 km per hour were not perfect.
We saw one huge cloud approaching Tansa dam and decided to carry out the experiment, said rain expert Shantilal Meckoni who has been appointed by the BMC for the experiment. As many as 250 gm of silver iodide was used at one station a chullah-type generator with coal. The flaming charcoal causes iodide vapour,whose properties are very similar to ice particles,that rise up and increase the cloud density. It takes around six minutes for the vapours to reach the cloud surface.
Meckoni said since the clouds disbursed following the experiment and moved to Modaksagar,it can be said that the showers were a result of cloud seeding. He said the wind velocity caused the disbursement and it need not rain at the spot where the experiment was conducted.
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It was the first official experiment but it was on a small scale. There was no rainfall in Tansa and Vaitarna at all but it started raining in Modaksagar after the experiment, said deputy hydraulic engineer Pramod Guhe.
Meckoni said by Tuesday there may be a good cloud cover as per weather forecast. We will then carry out a largescale experiment with more stations.
Another experiment was carried out at Tansa dam late on Saturday evening and the results are awaited. Mumbai is reeling under water shortage with the total supply from the six lakes that supply water to the city dipping following no rainfall in the catchment areas.
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