Everyone talks about the weather, but the organizers of the Beijing Olympics are doing something about it. The Chinese government already moved the date of the games from late July to mid-August, to avoid the city’s rainy season. Nevertheless, August remains one of the warmest and wettest months of the year in China. To help ensure the opening ceremony goes off without a weather hitch, Chinese officials will have a battery of cannons on standby for cloud seeding. The idea is to shoot silver iodide pellets into the clouds to direct any rainfall away from Olympic venues.
Seeding clouds is a hit-or-miss technology, and so is forecasting the Beijing weather. But the Chinese are doing their best to eliminate the guesswork. The Beijing Meteorological Bureau has invested in an IBM supercomputer to help it gauge weather and air quality during the games. For good measure, the BMB will also house the latest forecasting systems from Australia, Canada, France, Japan and the United States.
The bureau’s IBM System p575 supercomputer is capable of sweeping an area up to 44,000 km2 to provide hourly weather forecasts based on numerical data for each square kilometer. The p575 will provide 10 times the computational power of the BMB’s current weather-forecasting system. In addition to providing up-to-the-hour forecasts, it will be used to help predict air quality in Beijing and to improve the accuracy of forecasts in the regions surrounding the capital. Though this cloud seeding technology is a Hit-or-miss technology, still that was a appreciable move by the chinese government.