Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Rain Factor

There are 23 more days to the Olympics and now Chinese meteorologists are saying there is a slightly less chance of rain come August 8, at 41 percent.

The possibility of precipitation for the entire Beijing is 47-50 percent on that day, when the much-anticipated opening ceremonies will be held at the National Stadium, or Bird's Nest.

This conclusion was made after studying weather data from 1975 to 2007, according to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).

All is not rosy either.

"Thunderstorms, heavy rain, high temperatures, muggy skies and even hailstorms could be a problem, said Chen Zhenlin, deputy director of CMA's forecasting service and disaster mitigation department.

He is also the director of the Olympic Weather Service Center.

Sounds like Chen has alot of pressure to not only produce accurate weather forecasts, but also make sure it doesn't rain for the big day.

But hailstorms?

The CMA spokesman Yu Xinwen explains global warming has led to extreme weather conditions, and it's been particularly bad for China this year. There were snowstorms in late January and early February, heavy rains and floods in southern China last month and now Beijing experiencing its wettest summer in 15 years.

There was talk of the Chinese boasting how they could manipulate the weather. The plan was to "seed clouds" by sending rockets and planes into the sky and spread silver iodine and dry ice high into the atmosphere to target cumulonimbus clouds, thus inducing rain before the clouds headed towards Olympic venues.

But now Yu admits this technology can only prevent light rainfall. It doesn't work when there's thick, wide-spread, massive clouds.

So much for seven years' of preparation.

In a way it's good to know man cannot rule Mother Nature.

But let's hope for good weather anyway.


Anonymous said...

the good lord will look after us. have no fear.

Blog Ramblings said...

I think The Good Lord (capitals, please)has more to concentrate his Good Works on then providing good weather for the Olympics!