- Title: CHINA: Beijing Olympic Committee plan to stave off rain during the Olympics
- Date: 28th June 2007
- Summary: VARIOUS OF CYCLISTS WITH SUNSHADES PEDESTRIANS WITH SUNSHADES CROSSING ROAD
- Embargoed: 13th July 2007 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Weather,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA836913GZXYXP6NMVQ1UITBT3X
- Story Text: As Beijing experiences torrential rain, the Olympics Committee announces a plan to stave off rain during the Olympics.
Extreme summer storms of the sort that hit Beijing on Wednesday (June 27) have become more frequent over the past decade and work is continuing to find ways to protect Olympic events from them, officials said on Wednesday.
The skies over the Chinese capital turned black just after lunchtime on Wednesday, heralding a torrential downpour which would have put a serious dampener on the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics should it occur 408 days and a few hours later.
"Local extreme weather conditions have become more frequent, certain elements of these weather conditions are becoming more extreme, for example, the temperature." Wang Jian Jie, deputy director of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, told a news conference. "In terms of the rain dispersal, that's to say if we have a weather situation which requires these measures, we have the scientific ability to make it happen."
Zhang Qiang, head of the office of weather manipulation, said in April that the bureau would be able to offer a guarantee of dry weather immediately around the stadium after tests of "artificial mitigation of rainfall".
Beijing, which is chronically short of water, frequently benefits from the bureau's work in enhancing rainfall.
While the downpours also have the effect of clearing the city's notoriously polluted skies for a few days, the use of chemicals brings with it environmental concerns, but Zhang Qiang said that only small doses of the chemical silver iodide would be used and would not cause a problem.
Beijing is particularly concerned about a storm at the opening ceremony of next August's Olympics after organisers decided to dispense with a roof over the main "Bird's Nest" National Stadium as a cost-cutting measure.
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