Revealed: How UAE is making it rain so much in February

Ismail Sebugwaawo/Abu Dhabi
Filed on February 27, 2017 | Last updated on February 27, 2017 at 05.39 am
 Revealed: How UAE is making it rain so much in February

Ten cloud-seeding operations have been carried out in the last three days.

More than 50 cloud-seeding operations in less than two months are the reason behind the extraordinary rainfall you've been seeing of late, according to a UAE meteorologist.

Dr. Ahmed Habeeb, a meteorologist and cloud seeding expert at the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), said 56 seeding operations have taken place between January to present.

"We have carried out 10 cloud seeding operations only in the past three days, from Thursday," Habeeb told Khaleej Times on Sunday.

"In these operations, we have covered most of the available clouds cross the country which has helped the rain to increase."

Cloud-seeding operations over the UAE have played a major part in increasing rainfall, says the meteorologist.

Habeeb noted that international studies show that rainfall in the UAE has increased between 10-30 per cent over the past few years.

"The UAE's Rain Enhancement Programme - through cloud-seeding - has contributed greatly to the higher amount of rainfall being received now than when it was under normal conditions," he said.

The Met expert explained that during their operations, only clouds that are expected to generate rain are targeted.

"We don't make it rain, as it can rain even when no operation has been made, but cloud-seeding helps to make most of the seeded clouds generate rain," said Habeeb.

"The goal of cloud-seeding is to increase condensation within the cloud and trigger precipitation."

The expert said clouds are seeded by salt particles, which attract moisture to form droplets big enough to fall as rain.

Light to heavy rains were received in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and various other parts of the UAE on Sunday.

Around 20 mm of rain was received on Sunday morning, according to Habeeb.

The wet and cold weather has covered the country since last week but weathermen expect it to last only until Monday morning.

"We don't expect rains on from Monday afternoon until Tuesday," said Swaleh Khattar, from the NCMS.

He said weather in the UAE will be partly cloudy in general on Monday morning but the clouds will decrease in the afternoon and the following days with little chances of rain.

The weatherman also predicted slight to moderate winds becoming fresh at times over the sea.

"We also expect foggy conditions in the late night and early morning hours and from Tuesday to Thursday with visibility dropping to as low as 500m," said Khattar.

"Motorists are being advised to drive carefully in the coming days to avoid accidents because of fog."

According to the Khattar, temperatures in the coming days will be between 14C and 28C along the coast, with 12C to 30C in the inland.

In the mountains the highest temperatures will be 20C and the lowest as 9C.

Forecasters said that humidity is likely to increase overnight over some internal areas, possibly leading to more fog and mist in early morning hours on Monday.

The sea will be moderate to rough in the Arabian Gulf and moderate in the Sea of Oman and forecasters have urged people to stay away from the waters.

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