|Screen Capture of July 30 Hawaii Radar Map|
- The Weather Channel
One look at yesterday's weather radar on The Weather Channel's website (weather.com) would almost convince you that there's a lot of rain coming down just east of the islands. But if you’ve been to any Waikiki beaches, you know it’s been nice and sunny out there.
In fact, that's not rain. That's chaff – clouds of small, thin pieces of aluminum used as defensive countermeasures by warships, in this case, ships from Pacific Rim nations (and others) participating in the biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) currently underway off Hawaiian waters.
This year, participating nations include Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.
They do things like practice sinking ships, torpedoing, testing new vessels, technological exercises and other good stuff like that.
Anyway, back to the chaff. During the exercises, they release a lot of chaff that’s designed to confuse the enemy, who is fooled into thinking the readings are ships or aircraft when it’s actually just a bunch of rubbish in the air.