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BEIJING — Local meteorological departments have resorted to weather manipulation to relieve the drought in major wheat-growing areas in central and northern provinces.
Cloud seeding has been carried out in Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces in recent days to generate snow.
Wang Jianzhong, information office director of the Henan provincial meteorological bureau, told China Daily that they succeeded in generating precipitation by shooting snow-inducing silver iodide into the sky on Wednesday morning. As a result, Henan saw its first snow this winter in the afternoon, after 116 days without any snow or rain.
Sun Yan, an information office official at the Shandong provincial meteorological bureau, told China Daily on Wednesday that two to three planes conducted cloud seeding in the province.
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Anhui also carried out cloud seeding, with 67 rockets fired into the sky on Monday and Tuesday, the local weather bureau said.
Beijing, which has suffered its longest winter drought in 60 years, is also preparing for cloud seeding, Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday, quoting Zhang Qiang, director of the Beijing weather manipulation office.
The three-month drought in the central and northern parts of the country is likely to continue until Feb 18, the National Meteorological Center said on its official website on Wednesday.
It forecast that by Thursday, light rain or snow with an estimated precipitation of 1 to 3 mm will fall in Shanxi, Henan, Anhui, Shandong and Jiangsu provinces.
But such a small volume cannot alleviate the severe drought, Sun Jun, the center's chief forecaster, said.
During the four months since October, the nation had conducted weather manipulation operations 359 times.