HUBEI - Chinese planes are firing rods into the sky to bring more rainfall to its crucial Yangtze River, which has dried up in parts, as swaths of the nation fall into drought and grapple with the worst heat wave on record. Several regions on the Yangtze have launched weather modification programs, but with cloud cover too thin, operations in some drought-ravaged parts of the river’s basin have remained on standby. The Ministry of Water Resources said in a notice on Wednesday that drought throughout the Yangtze river basin was “adversely affecting drinking water security of rural people and livestock, and the growth of crops.” On Wednesday, central China’s Hubei province became the latest to announce it would seed clouds, using silver iodide rods to induce rainfall. The silver iodide rods, which are typically the size of cigarettes are shot into existing clouds to help form ice crystals.  The crystals then help the cloud produce more rain, making its moisture content heavier and more likely to be released.