The Palm Scribe

Burning Kalimantan Areas May Soon See Respite with Artificial Rains

Foto: Sawit Watch

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Office (BMKG) said that the western part of Indonesia, including Sumatra and Kalimantan islands which are seeing widespread forest and ground fires, will only see the rainy season start in October, however this weekend, heavy clouds over the burning regions in Kalimantan could already allow their seeding for artificial rainmaking.

“The western part of Indonesia will enter the rainy season in October, with medium (rain) category for those provinces prone to forest and ground fires…. On September 20, 2019, the potentials of heavy clouds forming are high in West, East and North Kalimantan and parts of Central Kalimantan, in its western and northern parts. Hopefully, cloud seeding and climate modification technology can be successfully implemented,” BMKG Head Dwikorita Karnawati told The Palm Scribe in an e-mail on Thursday (19/9).

Dwikorita also said that the start of the rainy season for most of Indonesia this year was some 10 to 30 days later than usual. She said the affected areas included North Sumatra, most of Riau, central Jambi, most of South Sumatra, parts of Lampung and most of Java.

Jambi, Riau and South Sumatra provinces on Sumatra island, as well as West and Central Kalimantan on Borneo island, have been devastated with extensive forest and ground fires in the past weeks. These fires have also sent thick smoke to blanket the sky in the region, including over a number of neighboring countries, causing health and traffic hazards.

In a release that was also sent to the Palm Scribe, BMKG also said that Aceh and North Sumatra as well as parts of West Sumatra and West Kalimantan, will already experience rains but still within a medium category.

Early in October, high levels of rain would already fall in Aceh and North Sumatra while in other parts of Western Indonesia, rains would still be in the medium category. Most of western Indonesia is forecast to have high to very high levels of rains in December.

BMKG said that it will continue to monitor cloud growth at local scale using various atmospheric monitoring equipment such as climatic radars and Rawisonde and use modeling computation to determine the potential of rain clouds development.

Rain clouds are usually seeded with natrium chloride, spread by airplanes and this will usually spark a chemical reaction that pushes the condensation of the clouds and thus produce rain.

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