UAE: New cloud-seeding campaign effect? Heavy rains hit parts of country

The Met Department reported heavy downpour in parts of Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah over the last two days


Sahim Salim

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Published: Thu 7 Sep 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 7 Sep 2023, 11:17 PM

Trees swayed and water streamed through the desert as heavy to moderate rains hit parts of the UAE over the last two days. The heavens opened up even as the country launched a new field campaign for cloud-seeding research.

This video was captured on Tuesday from Al Ain:

The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) reported heavy rains in parts of Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah over the last two days. The authority shared this video of high-speed winds in Al Ain:

It’s not immediately clear if these rains are connected to the new cloud-seeding research the NCM has launched.

Titled ‘Cloud-Aerosol-Electrical Interactions for Rainfall Enhancement Experiment (CLOUDIX)’, the research drive is being conducted out of Al Ain International Airport in collaboration with Stratton Park Engineering Company (SPEC), a US-based company specialising in cloud physics research and instrumentation. The month-long drive aims to investigate the performance of different cloud-seeding materials with and without electric charge.

The campaign includes a series of coordinated flight missions that cover the UAE airspace and parts of Oman.

Different seeding methods will be investigated across multiple stages involving diverse cloud targets. This process directly contributes to amplifying cloud-seeding effects and increased rainfall, the NCM said earlier this month.

The UAE has been successfully using cloud seeding for nearly two decades to enhance rains. Though the technology does not create rain, it can enhance them by up to 25 per cent.

The UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science that the NCM manages aims to expand global water security. The programme identifies scientifically verified and sustainably implementable methods of enhancing precipitation to increase rainfall in the UAE, as well as other arid and semi-arid areas in the region.

Since 2015, the country has tried and tested different technologies to enhance rain, including the possibility of using drones to release electrical charges into clouds.

In June, an NCM study demonstrated that uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) could make cloud-seeding operations more effective.


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