Cloud seeding continues, UAE to witness more rainfall

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The heavy down pour across the UAE is the result of cloud seeding operations that have continued for the past 48 hours, and residents can expect more rain as the operations are ongoing.

Five operations have carried out in the past 48 hours. Clouds are spotted over Al Ain and the Arabian Gulf that will cause the operation to continue, Khalid Al Obeidii, the head of the cloud seeding operations at the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), told Khaleej Times.

Videos circulated online as heavy rains and thunderstorms lashed parts of the country.

The UAE have started cloud seeding operations in 1990s. The method involves flying an aircraft to a cloud that has a present rain drop. Then, an aircraft shoots salt flares into the cloud to enhance rainfall.

“Clouds have two air masses – one is up draft and one is down draft. We target the up draft because when we burn the salt particle it’s going to be sucked and mixed with the rain droplets in the clouds, it’ll attach to the rain drop and increase in size,” Al Obeidii said.

“Our plan is to keep going with cloud seeding because there are clouds in and around it. There are clouds over the Arabian Gulf and moving over the ocean. Our target is always to increase the amount of rain falling by 15 to 25 percent.”

Furthermore, NCM announced that UAE has been utilizing ground weather modification system since last year, a method wherein a generator is placed on the top of a mountain to shoot salt flares up to the clouds.

“So, there is a ground generator over mountains, for example in Hafeet and over Fujairah area. We burn the flares from the ground, so the air mass goes in the upward motion and it reaches the cloud. We also use flares made in the UAE, called Ghaith. We started using it last year,” he said.