The Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation has begun cloud seeding operations in numerous provinces in the Northern Region in order to induce rainfall in specific locations. The objective is to alleviate the widespread smog condition in Thailand.
Wassana Wongrat, the head of operations for the department, reported that cloud seeding planes flew out of Chiang Mai province to seed clouds throughout six hilly and forested target areas. She said that cloud-seeding chemicals were dispersed across 19 locations located around northern provincial boundaries that were assessed to be at danger for wildfires.
The operations director indicated that cloud seeding cannot be readily carried out over Greater Bangkok due to aviation constraints. Since Rayong province is upwind of Bangkok, operations will instead be undertaken there until February 12th. The seeded clouds would then drive into the capital, resulting in precipitation that would help disperse PM2.5 particles.
In order to ameliorate the haze problem, the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation is recommending that the public refrain from all forms of burning. Authorities warned that open-air burning, wildfires, still air and lack of wind are all variables that can lead to heightened amounts of airborne dust.
The general public may also request cloud seeding activities by calling 02-109-5100, extension 410, or by visiting the department’s Facebook page.