Artificial rain 'expected' in Lahore next month

Artificial rain will not take place between November 28-29, says Chief Meteorologist Chaudhry Aslam

Ummay Farwa
Motorcyclists commuting amid rain in Karachi, on September 20, 2023. — INP
Motorcyclists commuting amid rain in Karachi, on September 20, 2023. — INP 

LAHORE: Chief Meteorologist Chaudhry Aslam said Tuesday that artificial rain is expected in Punjab’s capital of Lahore next month and preparations are underway for it as the government ups its efforts to curb smog.

In conversation with Geo News, Aslam, however, also mentioned that the artificial rain would not take place between November 28-29 and that the government is still considering it as an option to battle the deadly smog.

On Tuesday, the concentration of PM 2.5, or tiny particulate matter, in the air hit 237, considered very unhealthy, according to Swiss-based IQ Air. “PM2.5 concentration in Lahore is currently 37.4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value.”

The government has taken several steps to curb smog, including the closure of schools, offices, and markets, as the country’s second-largest city, with a population of 11 million, was repeatedly ranked the world’s most polluted city.

Medics have asked people to wear face masks and stay at home as many complain about breathing problems. The government has also made wearing masks mandatory for a week, starting November 20.

Aslam, in his conversation, also mentioned that for artificial rain, a “special spray” is sprayed on clouds, which results in a downpour that can last for 45 minutes — and sometimes longer.

“In 2001 and 2002, artificial rains also took place in summer and winter seasons as authorities had sprayed on the clouds with the help of the Pakistan Army,” he added.