Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When the Weather Machine breaks...

The tail-end of last week was some of the most apocalyptically grim weather I've seen in Beijing - and that's saying something.  Most of the last two weeks has been 'pale rider' bad.
This week we were expecting better.
On Monday we saw it. Shiny happy sunny day.
The template for the week to come.
No. On Monday evening it started getting stupidly humid again.  And whenever it's stupidly humid, the air is also stupidly smoggy.
It's been like that for the last two days - some of the worst air pollution I can ever remember in Beijing.
I was assured by a number of Chinese folks I know that it was going to rain last night, to clear the air ahead of the birthday celebrations.  People seemed to be scarily, dementedly confident of this.  The news had been put out through the official channels, so obviously it must be true.  But there was no rain last night.  Or none to speak of.  And today the toxic murk was even worse - visibility down to a few hundred yards.
So... tonight it really has to rain.
And it's trying.  But it's very, very feeble and scattered so far.
I have heard that the usual cloud-buster batteries of rain-seeding artillery troops around Beijing have been massively reinforced with other units drafted in from all neighbouring provinces.  And they're pumping everything they have into the night sky.
You see, the problem with this rainmaker juju is that.... you have to have some clouds to shoot at.  And there haven't been any for the last several days.  Just a great big pall of dank, clammy, polluted nasty air.  But no actual clouds to speak of.
The guys in charge of the Big Parade thought they could guarantee beautiful blue skies for the whole shebang, but.... it's looking like it might not happen.
I joked in my last post about the national television channel having prepared a lot of 'perfect' footage of events in advance, during all the extended rehearsals over the past month or so.  But really, if the weather in 6 hours time is as SHIT as it is now, that's what they're going to be showing, I suspect.
Schadenfreude?  Who - ME??

No comments: