How the UAE is achieving man-made rain

man-made rain

Imagine you arrive to The United Arab Emirates, expecting heatwaves and a humid climate. Seconds after stepping foot into what is supposed to be a desert climate, unforeseen raindrops appear on the side of the road. 

This year has definitely not been short of surprises. 

It would have been a common weather experience in countries based in Southeast Asia. However, this is the UAE, in the height of its summer season where the temperature has regularly surpassed 120 Celsius. 

The UAE has officially succeeded in producing man-made rain to beat the heat. Through utilizing drone technology that releases electrical charges into clouds with pre-existing rain droplets, the electrical charges end up triggering heavy rain production. 

The UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) has been showcasing the UAE’s achievement on social media, posting a series of videos on Instagram of heavy rain falls in different parts of the country.

The process is called cloud seeding, and it generally involves flying a manned aircraft drone fired up with chemicals such as silver iodide into a cloud. The result? Increased precipitation in a country that has an average annual rainfall of just 42 millimeters (1.7 inches).  

On Twitter, the NCM hinted that the unexpected heavy rain fall is thanks to the multi-million-dollar cloud seeding operations. 

Cloud seeding in the UAE goes all the way back to the 90s, as the country has been struggling with declines in rainfall and several challenges when it comes to water security. Groundwater has been the main resource for the UAE. However, with the high evaporation rates of surface water coupled with the increasing population of the country, man-made rain may be the best solution in the hands of the Emiratis. 

According to the NCM, the UAE is one of the first countries in the Arab world to utilize cloud seeding technology.  

Up until now, the operations have been based in the country’s upland northeast districts where the clouds with the most pre-existing rain droplets can be found.