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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 08:20 GMT 09:20 UK
Theme park considers rain control
Cloud-seeding was used to keep Soviet rallies dry
A theme park has said it is looking at using rain-controlling techniques to stop bad weather discouraging visitors.

Staff at Alton Towers, Staffordshire, said they were considering using the cloud-seeding technique ahead of important public holidays.

The method was famously used by Communists in the former Soviet Union to ensure rallies would remain dry.

Particles are dropped or fired into clouds in an effort to change levels of precipitation.

There are plans to use aircraft to carry out cloud-seeding ahead of next year's Beijing Olympics.

'Held hostage'

The technique was also reportedly used during the UK's 1976 drought.

In China it is used to boost rainfall in drought-stricken areas and it is also used in the US to encourage snowfall in the mountains above Californian hydroelectric dams.

General manager of Alton Towers Russell Barnes said this summer's wet weather had forced them to consider the measure.

Mr Barnes said: "It's still a long way off, but after we read that Bejing plan to use cloud-seeding to keep the 2008 Olympics dry, we thought we'd investigate.

"Whilst our resort features a large number of indoor attractions and rides, the wet weather definitely puts off families and our aim is to not be held hostage to the increasingly extreme weather conditions."

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15 Apr 06 |  Staffordshire

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