Is the USA Today reading my blog? Yesterday, they did a feature length article on China’s expertise at shooting ammunition into clouds to make it rain. The title of the article is China Rolls Out the Big Guns, Aiming for a Dry Olympics." Hah! My earlier posts on this subject, which can be found here and here, are turning out to be truer than I even suspected. The article begins like this:
When he’s not tending cherry orchards outside Beijing, Yu Yonggang can be found behind the twin barrels of a 37mm anti-aircraft gun, blasting shells at passing clouds. Yu is one of 37,000 peasants enlisted by the Chinese government to help produce rain in parched areas. The 45-year-old farmer works with China’s other trigger-happy rain men to water the crops, break up damaging hailstorms and put out forest fires. After a sandstorm blew through the capital in May, he lobbed shells and rockets skyward to coax rains that washed sand and grit from city streets.
The peasant described in this article lives in a village near the Fragrant Hills, which is only a few miles from where I live in Beijing, and in an area where I often ride my bike. So it’s likely that the booms we hear are being shot off by this very peasant! When I get back to Beijing next month, I’m definitely going to take a ride and try to find this guy.
There was a boom, then some rain in the Twin Cities last night, but I’m quite sure it was real thunder!