An Overview of Crop Hail Damage and Evaluation of Hail Suppression Efficiency in Bulgaria

Petio Simeonov National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, Sofia, Bulgaria

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Abstract

The space–time distribution of the crop hail loss-to-risk ratio over the whole. Bulgarian territory has been ascertained using the rank approach. The relationships between hailfall characteristics (sizes and kinetic energy) and the percentage of the crop damage for wheat, corn, and vines were obtained using field observations and hailpad data. A physical–statistical method for evaluating the changes in damaged crop areas was tested over a 5000-km2 target area (numbers for three hail suppression ranges). Using a regression equation (worked out for 120 nonseeded days) for evaluation of the damaged area changes, reductions in damaged area of 34%–48% were obtained for 7 and 9 years of heavy hail. The magnitude of the reduction is comparable with the one obtained using double-mass ratio and bivariate test of loss-to-risk data in the control and target areas. Similar results were obtained in other hail suppression projects in France, North Dakota, and Greece. A short overview of the physical effects of cloud seeding is presented. The physical-statistical approach for severe hailstorms, based on the regression between thermodynamical indices of instability and damaged areas, shows promise as a perspective to evaluate the efficiency of the seeding operations in problematic cases.

Abstract

The space–time distribution of the crop hail loss-to-risk ratio over the whole. Bulgarian territory has been ascertained using the rank approach. The relationships between hailfall characteristics (sizes and kinetic energy) and the percentage of the crop damage for wheat, corn, and vines were obtained using field observations and hailpad data. A physical–statistical method for evaluating the changes in damaged crop areas was tested over a 5000-km2 target area (numbers for three hail suppression ranges). Using a regression equation (worked out for 120 nonseeded days) for evaluation of the damaged area changes, reductions in damaged area of 34%–48% were obtained for 7 and 9 years of heavy hail. The magnitude of the reduction is comparable with the one obtained using double-mass ratio and bivariate test of loss-to-risk data in the control and target areas. Similar results were obtained in other hail suppression projects in France, North Dakota, and Greece. A short overview of the physical effects of cloud seeding is presented. The physical-statistical approach for severe hailstorms, based on the regression between thermodynamical indices of instability and damaged areas, shows promise as a perspective to evaluate the efficiency of the seeding operations in problematic cases.

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