GROMET 2. Rainfall Augmentation in the Philippine Islands
NAVAL WEAPONS CENTER CHINA LAKE CA
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A severe drought in the Philippine Islands during 1968 and 1969 led the Philippine Government to try cloud seeding as a means of rainfall augmentation. With the help of the United States, a silver iodide seeding project, GROMET II, was conducted over the entire archipelago from the end of April through mid-June 1969. Pyrotechnically generated silver iodide was released in updrafts in growing clouds, and through judicial placement and timing of seeding events individual clouds were organized into larger cloud systems. Rainfall estimated as at least 3 x 10 to the 10th power cubic meters of water fell from seeded clouds. The precise extent of rainfall augmentation resulting from seeding cannot be calculated nonetheless, rainfall augmentation from tropical cumulus clouds was accomplished in a simple operational manner. Benefits derived, at least in part, from the project included marked improvement in the agriculture, increased sugar production amounting to 43 million U.S. dollars, and augmented crops of rice and corn sufficient to make anticipated importation unnecessary. In addition, local personnel were trained in seeding techniques. Because of the success of GROMET II the Government of the Philippines conducted a similar operation during 1970 and planned another for 1971.