KUALA LUMPUR — March 19, 2019: The Meteorological Department (MET) will start cloud seeding operations to induce rain next month following the current heatwave.
MET director of atmospheric science and cloud seeding division, Maznorizan Mohamad, said the operations will be done primarily in the northern states, which have been severely affected by the scorching heat.
“We’re planning to do cloud seeding in April and our target areas are that of the northern states, particularly in Kedah and Perlis,” wrote Maznorizan in a text message to The Mole today,
A cloud seeding is done by spraying salt water solution within the clouds in order to encourage the formation of ice particles. When heavy enough, the particles will fall as rain.
Malaysia is currently at the tail end of the North-East Monsoon and during this period, there would be zero or very little rainfall.
Yesterday, a level two heatwave alert was issued by MET for Pendang, Kedah after the temperature there remained between 37 and 40 degrees Celsius (°C) since three days ago.
So far, MET has issued a level one heatwave alert for 23 areas across the peninsular states such as in Klang, Kuala Lumpur, central Melaka, Tangkak and Kuala Kangsar.
According to the department, if the situation worsens and temperatures exceeds 40°C for three consecutive days, a level three alert will be raised and this would allow the government to declare a state of emergency.
However, on Sunday, MET director of national weather and geophysics operation centre, Mohd Hisham Mohd Anip, said that it is unlikely that heatwave will exceed 40°C.
“Some thermometers would show 40°C and above during this period, but they are not accurate readings. Ours met international standards.
“The country’s highest temperature in the past two decades was 40.1°C in 1998, in Chuping, Perlis. Even then, it was due to a strong El Nino (phenomenon),” said Mohd Hisham.