Ukraine to use rockets to disperse Euro clouds

Ukraine is planning to fire rockets to break up rain clouds if bad weather threatens to upset football matches during next month's Euro 2012 tournament, a government official said on Monday.

"Our [missile] batteries are being prepared for dispersing rain clouds," the official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

On May 9 when Ukraine celebrated World War Two Victory Day, the airforce sent up an Antonov-30 cargo transporter to disperse a build-up of rain cloud by spraying it with chemicals, though no rockets were fired.

For the moment though, weather forecasters are predicting only dry, warm weather for at least the first two European Championship games to be played in Ukraine.

"We expect there will be no rain in Ukraine on June 9. The temperature is likely to be between 20 and 24 Celsius degrees (68 to 75 Fahrenheit)," Anatoly Prokopenko, deputy head of Ukraine's State Weather Forecast Centre, told Reuters.

Ukraine is co-hosting the tournament with Poland from June 8-July 1.