BEIJING, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Beijing fired over 1,000
rain dispersal rockets on Friday evening to blow away rain clouds for the smooth
opening ceremony of the 29th Olympic Games at the National Stadium, confirmed
the local observatory on Saturday morning.
It was the largest rain dispersal operation in China,
and the first time that such technology has been used to ensure the weather
condition for Olympic opening, said Chinese meteorologists.
"We fired a total of 1,104 rain dispersal rockets
from 21 sites in the city between 4 p.m. and 11:39 p.m. on Friday, which
successfully intercepted a stretch of rain belt from moving towards the
stadium," said Guo Hu, head of the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau
The observatory had given rainy weather forecast for
the Olympic night, and monitored 90 percent of humidity rate.
"Under such a weather condition, a small bubble in
the rain cloud would have triggered rainfall, let alone a lightening," said Guo,
whose team had monitored the movement of the rain cloud heading for Beijing from
7:20 a.m. Friday.
Rain had been cited as the biggest threat the Olympic
opening by chief director of the ceremony Zhang Yimou days ahead of the Olympic
As rain stayed away from the ceremony, the four-hour
extravaganza in the Bird's Nest proved a dazzling show that entertained billions
of people around the world.
However, the pressure from the rainy weather Friday
evening was intense, as BMB gave the yellow alert (third highest degree) for
thundershower at 9:35 p.m., and forecast rain to hit downtown Beijing within an
The artificial rain dispersal efforts basically drove
the rain away as of 10:42 p.m., when the show had been going on for over two
hours, said BMB experts.
The weather services said that Baoding City of Hebei
Province, to the southwest of Beijing received the biggest rainfall of 100
millimeters Friday night, and Beijing's Fangshan District recorded a rainfall of