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Thailand deploys rainmaking planes to battle drought, pollution​

Update: 01-03-2024 | 15:31:59

The Thai government plans to deploy 30 aircraft nationwide for cloud-seeding operations to induce artificial rain to battle air pollution and ease dry weather conditions in the main crop-growing areas.

Thailand deploys rainmaking planes to battle drought and pollution. (Photo:

The annual royal rainmaking programme began on February 29, with seven centres set up across the country to coordinate efforts in all the 77 provinces for operations in March and April.

This year’s operations will rely on 24 aircrafts from the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation and six jets from the Royal Thai Air Force.

Agriculture Minister Thamanat Prompow said that rainmaking is necessary to ease the impact of climate change on the agricultural sector and prevent hailstorms and forest fires in some regions of the country. The artificial rain will also ease persistent pollution problems such as smog and unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter known as PM2.5.

According to the Meteorological Department, this year's summer season officially began on February  21 and will last until mid-May with the temperature forecast to rise as high as 44.5C in some areas.

A combination of humidity, wind and other factors last year pushed the heat index  to a record of over 50C in parts of the country, pushing electricity demand to the highest level ever.

Bangkok, Chiang Mai and other cities have grappled with poor air quality in recent years, with pollution tending to get worse in the dry season starting around December due largely to agricultural burning, forest fires in neighbouring countries, and vehicular emissions./.


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