Cloud Seeding Aircrafts in India

It's July 2018 - A typical monsoon season for India, which is a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation. The term was first used in English in British India and neighboring countries to refer to the big seasonal winds blowing from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea in the southwest bringing heavy rainfall to the area.

In Maharashtra State - The Deccan plateau constitutes 50 percent of the drought-prone area of the state. 12 percent of the population lives in drought-prone areas. Once in 5 years, deficient rainfall is reported. Severe drought conditions occur once every 8-9  years.  

The state government on April 8, 2018 - has declared drought in 8 talukas from three districts. The drought has been declared following in a drop in agriculture production in the recently concluded Rabi season. The central government has changed the drought declaration norms which gives four impact indicators and then there are 13 sub-indices called the trigger indicators. Some of the several parameters that were considered before declaring the drought. Rainfall, green index, soils moisture, groundwater index. 

To further study this issue Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) An Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India has come up with a possible solution for the drought-prone areas, by creating artificial rain using state of the art equipment such as aircraft. 

On 1st July 2018 - we had the chance to visit these 2 special aircraft at Baramati Airport, Maharashtra. The primary objective of these aircraft is to collect data, analyze weather conditions & cloud seeding. These aircraft are specially modified Beechcraft KingAir C90 | N6111V Beechcraft KingAir B200 | N267CB owned and operated by WeatherModification INC.

These 2 sister planes operate together to study and collect data from clouds and find a potential place for cloud seeding. These aircraft also constantly send data to a local station in the region of operation where experts can analyze the data.

Beechcraft KingAir C90 | N6111V

Beechcraft KingAir B200 | N267CB

Cloud seeding is a form of weather modification that changes the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds, by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei, which alter the microphysical processes within the cloud. Spreading either dry ice, or more commonly, silver iodide aerosols, into the upper part of clouds to try to stimulate the precipitation process and form rain. 

By implementing this technique they expect to increase rainfall by 15-20% in drought-prone areas. 

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