Supercomputer Weather: Putin Plays King Canute
A report in the Times of London that President Vladimir Putin of Russia has ordered that it not rain on his anniversary party in St Petersburg this Friday seemed to be tempting fate just a little too closely.
According to the report President Putin has ordered fine weather for the St Petersburg summit and 300th anniversary festivities which will be attended by several world leaders including President Bush and Prime Minister Blair.
The Times reports:
"Ten aeroplanes will take to the skies, equipped with cloud-seeding agents in an attempt to induce rain away from the city, allowing holidaymakers and visiting heads of state to enjoy dry weather below.
Celebrations of the anniversary of Russia’s historic capital and seat of imperial government a week today will be attended by hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Vladimir Stepanenko, head physicist of St Petersburg’s Geophysics Observatory, said: “Our aim is to empty all clouds of rain before they hit the city borders.” Such practice may strike awe into the heart of every rain-soaked Brit, but Russians take “cloud-bursting” for granted, having enjoyed its benefits over public holidays since Stalin gave the order to research weather control in the 1930s."
The Times appears confident that the Russian cloudbusters will succeed in their mission. But according to the NOAA supercomputer forecast below the pilots will certainly have their work cut out for them, so we shall see.
A Forecast for an 18 hour
period on May 30th the day of the planned celebrations –
coloured lines denote forecast rain. In the middle of the
day the most intense rain is forecast for right over the