§ 76. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the new branch set up by the Meteorological Office to expand 146W research in cloud physics, its objects and scope; and whether there are any prospects of its leading to developments in weather control.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
The new Cloud Physics Branch of the Meteorological Office was set up in October, 1966. In addition to taking over the work on cloud physics which was already being done in the Office it will carry on the major research done by Imperial College, London, which has recently closed its Cloud Physics Department. The College's valuable work has given the United Kingdom pre-eminence in this field.
The new branch studies the growth and behaviour of cloud droplets and ice crystals, the formation of rain, hail and snow and large-scale air movements in cloud. It does laboratory and mathematical work at Bracknell and radar work at Malvern, and is assisted by the Meteorological Research Flight at Farnborough. The research is of a fundamental nature, but it will contribute to a better understanding of the possibilities of artificial rainmaking.