Cloud seeding aircraft arrives from the US
- A specially-designed American aircraft, that will be used to take up cloud seeding, landed at the Jakkur airfield on 14th August.
- The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) department is planning to start cloud seeding tentatively on August 18 at a cost of Rs 35 crore, covering areas that have received deficient 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 deficient 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 the authorities identify clouds that are suitable for seeding. In July 2008, Patil took up a private initiative for 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.
Parched state banks on monsoon revival; more rainfall forecast for next 10 days
- The state, which is facing another drought year, is now banking on the revival of the monsoon. According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), the state has received 27% deficit rainfall.
- However, the situation could improve in the coming days as the weatherman has forecast the monsoon’s revival in the next 10 to 12 days.
- Conditions seem favourable for the formation of upper air cyclonic circulation and trough, due to which good rainfall is likely to occur in coastal and south interior Karnataka regions
- From June 1 till August 11, against the normal of 558 mm, Karnataka has received only 407 mm rainfall.
- Only four districts (Kalaburagi, Raichur, Koppal and Uttara Kannada) received normal rainfall, while the remaining 26 have received a deficit
- The worst-hit regions are Dharwad, Haveri, Gadag and Bengaluru Urban.
- According to IMD data, Bengaluru city has received 112 mm from June 1, which a deficit of 134 mm from normal.
- The KSNDMC data shows that the reservoir catchment areas of Malnad region (Shivamogga, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu) have experienced deficit rainfall.
- Due to this, the reservoirs haven’t filled up. Only Almatti reservoir is full. Vijayapura received 159 mm against the normal of 212 mm.
- But since Maharashtra received heavy rainfall, it helped fill the Almatti catchment areas. Harangi and Narayanpur reservoirs are almost full while Supa and Ghataprabha are half filled.
- The remaining reservoirs Linganamakki, Varahi, Hemavathi, KRS, Kabini, Bhadra, Tungabhadra and Malaprabha have not even reached half the storage capacity, observed another KSNDMC official.
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