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Results of the Thailand Warm-Cloud Hygroscopic Particle Seeding Experiment

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  • a Englewood, Colorado
  • | b Bureau of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation, Bangkok, Thailand
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Abstract

A randomized, warm-rain enhancement experiment was carried out during 1995–98 in the Bhumibol catchment area in northwestern Thailand. The experiment was conducted in accordance with a randomized, floating single–target design. The seeding targets were semi-isolated, warm convective clouds, contained within a well-defined experimental unit, that, upon qualification, were selected for seeding or not seeding with calcium chloride particles in a random manner. The seeding was done by dispensing the calcium chloride particles at an average rate of 21 kg km−1 per seeding pass into the updrafts of growing warm convective clouds (about 1–2 km above cloud base) that have not yet developed or, at most, have just started to develop a precipitation radar echo. The experiment was carried out by the Bureau of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation (BRRAA) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives as part of its Applied Atmospheric Resources Research Program, Phase 2.

During the 4 yr of the experiment, a total of 67 experimental units (34 seeded and 33 nonseeded units) were qualified in accordance with the experimental design. Volume-scan data from a 10-cm Doppler radar at 5-min intervals were used to track each experimental unit, from which various radar-estimated properties of the experimental units were obtained. The statistical evaluation of the experiment was based on a rerandomization analysis of the single ratio of seeded to unseeded experimental unit lifetime properties. In 1997, the BRRAA acquired two sophisticated King Air 350 cloud-physics aircraft, providing the opportunity to obtain physical measurements of the aerosol characteristics of the environment in which the warm clouds grow, of the hydrometeor characteristics of seeded and unseeded clouds, and of the calcium chloride seeding plume dimensions and particle size distribution—information directly related to the effectiveness of the seeding conceptual model that was not directly available up to then.

The evaluation of the Thailand warm-rain enhancement experiment has provided statistically significant evidence and supporting physical evidence that the seeding of warm convective clouds with calcium chloride particles produced more rain than was produced by their unseeded counterparts. An exploratory analysis of the time evolution of the seeding effects resulted in a significant revision to the seeding conceptual model.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Bernard A. Silverman, 7038 E. Peakview Place, Englewood, CO 80111.

silvermanb@aol.com

Abstract

A randomized, warm-rain enhancement experiment was carried out during 1995–98 in the Bhumibol catchment area in northwestern Thailand. The experiment was conducted in accordance with a randomized, floating single–target design. The seeding targets were semi-isolated, warm convective clouds, contained within a well-defined experimental unit, that, upon qualification, were selected for seeding or not seeding with calcium chloride particles in a random manner. The seeding was done by dispensing the calcium chloride particles at an average rate of 21 kg km−1 per seeding pass into the updrafts of growing warm convective clouds (about 1–2 km above cloud base) that have not yet developed or, at most, have just started to develop a precipitation radar echo. The experiment was carried out by the Bureau of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation (BRRAA) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives as part of its Applied Atmospheric Resources Research Program, Phase 2.

During the 4 yr of the experiment, a total of 67 experimental units (34 seeded and 33 nonseeded units) were qualified in accordance with the experimental design. Volume-scan data from a 10-cm Doppler radar at 5-min intervals were used to track each experimental unit, from which various radar-estimated properties of the experimental units were obtained. The statistical evaluation of the experiment was based on a rerandomization analysis of the single ratio of seeded to unseeded experimental unit lifetime properties. In 1997, the BRRAA acquired two sophisticated King Air 350 cloud-physics aircraft, providing the opportunity to obtain physical measurements of the aerosol characteristics of the environment in which the warm clouds grow, of the hydrometeor characteristics of seeded and unseeded clouds, and of the calcium chloride seeding plume dimensions and particle size distribution—information directly related to the effectiveness of the seeding conceptual model that was not directly available up to then.

The evaluation of the Thailand warm-rain enhancement experiment has provided statistically significant evidence and supporting physical evidence that the seeding of warm convective clouds with calcium chloride particles produced more rain than was produced by their unseeded counterparts. An exploratory analysis of the time evolution of the seeding effects resulted in a significant revision to the seeding conceptual model.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Bernard A. Silverman, 7038 E. Peakview Place, Englewood, CO 80111.

silvermanb@aol.com

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