Most Read: Local

Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 02/20/2009

Artificial or Not, China Has Snow and D.C. Doesn't

* Our Full Forecast | Weather Channel Founder Talks Climate 'Scam' *

So you want snow in D.C.? If so, perhaps we need to follow the example of China.

As reported here and here, Chinese officials claim that the first snowfall of the season this week in Beijing was produced artificially by cloud seeding. As part of an effort to alleviate a persistent drought in the region, sticks of silver iodide are being launched by rockets into clouds to serve as the catalyst for initiating precipitation. These same officials claim that the only other precipitation this winter -- rain last week -- was also the result of cloud seeding.

Haven't we heard this before? Yep...

Keep reading for more on China's ongoing weather modification efforts...

As I reported last summer, China's weather modification program -- arguably the largest in the world -- claimed success in preventing rain from ruining the opening ceremony of the Olympics by making clouds "rain out" before reaching the Olympic stadium.

Unfortunately for those around here grasping at straws for snow, China has never provided verifiable documentation counter to the prevailing view, as stated in a National Academies report, that "There is still no convincing scientific proof of the efficacy of intentional weather modification efforts."

In other words, the snow at Beijing might very well have occurred naturally. And we don't know to what extent seeding has failed to produce the desired outcome on other occasions.

Side Note: The MSNBC report notes that "Beijing's drivers are still getting used to maneuvering in the snow" -- sound familiar?

By  |  01:30 PM ET, 02/20/2009

Categories:  International Weather, International Weather

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company