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Rockets to Disperse Rain Clouds Ahead of Olympics
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Rockets will be fired into the sky to disperse rain clouds ahead of next year's Olympics, it was announced yesterday at the start of a meteorologists' drill.


The exercise is being held as part of the organizers' efforts to "ensure" sunshine at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Games.


Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), announced the decision to use rockets at a teleconference in Beijing to mark the start of the practice drill.


As summer is a rainy season, this practice will become the focus of the meteorological services for the Games, which will be held in the same season next year, Zheng said.


The drill will encompass a simulation of the entire process, forecasters will go through during the Games.


These will include emergency practices and plans for the torch relay -- including its trip to the top of Mount Qomolangma -- the opening and closing ceremonies and the sailing events in Qingdao in East China's Shandong Province.


The drill aims to ensure we provide comprehensive and high-quality meteorological services during the Games, Zheng said.


He said the drill for the torch relay, which covers the longest route in Olympic history, will also start on Monday, in a bid to build experience for the 130-day-long official tour next year.


Zheng said this summer was the last chance for meteorologists to practice under similar weather conditions to those expected during the Olympic Games.


He called on all related departments to seize the opportunity to make essential preparations.


(China Daily July 17, 2007)

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