Along with the shortage of fresh water in a number of regions of the world, the population and economy of some countries suffer from an excess of precipitation. Often, excess precipitation is realized in the form of powerful downpours, which lead to catastrophic floods that damage agriculture, hydrological facilities and pose a threat to human life and health. Excess precipitation during the harvesting period leads to significant losses, and prolonged heavy snowfalls in winter create problems for housing and communal services and transport.
Much attention was paid to this problem even in the Soviet Union. The research was carried out with the aim of solving two main problems:
– reducing the negative effects of heavy rains, leading to floods in the warm season and from snowfalls in the cold season, creating problems for transport and housing and communal services;
– creation of favorable conditions for city residents during sports and festive events in the open air.
The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, when the task was set to exclude precipitation in the 30-km zone in order to avoid the washout of radioactive substances into the Pripyat and Dnieper rivers, added another area of work — reducing the consequences of man-made disasters as a result of the transfer of harmful substances in the atmosphere.
Work to improve weather conditions during public events in order to prevent precipitation or reduce its intensity and duration, and, under certain conditions, to dissipate clouds flowing onto the city, began to be carried out in Moscow in the early 80s.
The technology for improving weather conditions is based on the results of experimental studies carried out in the USSR at specialized meteorological polygons in Moldova and the Volga region. In Russia, technology to improve weather conditions has been regularly used during sports and festive events for weather protection of large cities since 1995.
An analysis of the results of these works shows that the use of this technology makes it possible either to completely prevent precipitation, or to achieve a significant reduction in the time and area of precipitation, as well as a decrease in their intensity from 3 to 10 times.
Depending on the specific weather conditions over the protected area, the following methods of influencing hydrometeorological processes in the atmosphere are used to improve weather conditions:
- Scattering of stratus clouds.
- The destruction of powerful cumulonimbus clouds in a dynamic way to prevent showers and thunderstorms.
- Initiation of premature precipitation from cloud systems in order to stop or weaken them over the protected area.
- Intensive seeding (reseeding) of precipitation-forming clouds to create a high concentration of ice crystals in it in order to slow down the mechanism of precipitation formation.