Asian Games

Plans in place to keep rain at bay

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 November, 2010, 12:00am

Although official state media said rain will not be tolerated for Friday's opening ceremony of the Asian Games, because it is in the forecast, Guangzhou is hoping to stave off downpours with the country's best weather control technology.

The Asiad will run until November 27, and although Guangzhou's November is normally mild and sunny, experts are now talking about the possibility of extreme weather conditions.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Guangdong Meteorological Bureau deputy chief Hu Situan said cold air from the north was heading south and might clash with a tropical cloud cluster near the South China Sea, which would complicate the weather situation for the opening ceremony.

Hu said November was usually the most comfortable time of year in Guangzhou. Based on previous records, there was an 18.4 per cent chance of rain, but preparations for weather control had been put in place. However, Hu conceded the technology would not be 100 per cent effective against a regionwide downpour.

Xinhua earlier reported a rainless 16th Asian Games was guaranteed whether Mother Nature likes it or not, as five plans will be used to dispel rain.

Apart from planes, other weather modification measures including cloud dispersing rockets are also standing by. Two meteorological satellites, 16 radars and more than 8,000 automated weather stations will also be in service to ensure accurate, timely forecasts.

The latest forecast on the opening ceremony will be announced tomorrow at a press conference. Guangzhou residents will receive the latest weather updates and warnings via media on public transport, radio and television a few times a day on important Asian Games days. All mobile phone users in Guangdong province could also be notified of the latest weather changes within 50 minutes via text messages.

China modified weather for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and for last year's 60th anniversary of National Day on October 1. In 2008, Beijing fired off 1,100 silver iodide rockets and claimed success in holding off a rain belt that threatened to drench the opening ceremony.

The Guangzhou Environmental Protection Bureau reported late last month that smog, which is a regular feature each winter and spring, was still the biggest threat to Guangzhou's air quality during the Asian Games.