UAE Government Entity Refutes Preceding Cloud Seeding in Wake of Dubai Flooding

In Dubai, a part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the government team in charge of changing weather conditions, called the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), said it didn’t make storms worse by using a technique called cloud seeding. Some reports suggested they might have made the rain heavier before a big storm hit the country.

The NCM, through a spokesperson named Omar AlYazeedi, told CNBC that they didn’t send pilots to do cloud seeding before or during the storm that hit the UAE on Tuesday. AlYazeedi explained that cloud seeding works best when done before clouds turn into rain, but during a severe storm, it’s too late to try it.

Reports suggested cloud seeding worsened flooding, but NCM denies conducting seeding operations. (Credits: Khaleej Times)

On Tuesday, the UAE experienced very heavy rain, especially in places like Al Ain and Dubai. The NCM reported over 250 millimeters (10 inches) of rain in Al Ain and over 100 mm in Dubai. Normally, the UAE gets between 140 to 200 mm of rain in a year.

The NCM’s denial came after an earlier report by Bloomberg suggested that the heavy rain on Tuesday might have been partly caused by cloud seeding.

UAE experienced the heaviest rain yet, with over 250mm in Al Ain and 100mm in Dubai. (Credits: Gulf News)

Later, a meteorologist named Ahmed Habib mentioned to CNBC that six pilots did fly planes as part of their usual job but didn’t see any clouds. CNBC couldn’t confirm these reports independently.

Cloud seeding is a method to make more rain, which the UAE has been doing since the 1990s to tackle water shortages. They do over 1,000 hours of cloud seeding each year.

The NCM said they were aware of the heavy rain coming but didn’t try to seed any clouds during that time. They believed the storm was just natural rain.

The deputy director general emphasized that they take the safety of their people, pilots, and planes very seriously and don’t do cloud seeding during extreme weather events.

Cloud seeding, used to enhance rainfall, has been part of UAE’s water scarcity solution since the 1990s. (Credits: Khaleej Times)

In recent years, the UAE has been getting more rain, and it’s expected to increase by 15% to 30% in the future, according to a report in the science journal Nature.

Normally, the UAE is known for its desert weather with very little rain. However, because of climate change, the weather patterns are changing over time.

Before the storm hit, the UAE government’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority warned people on social media to stay home and follow safety rules.

The UAE’s buildings and infrastructure are designed to handle typical weather like minimal rain. However, during these unexpected heavy rains, the drainage systems struggled, leading to flooded roads and airports and disrupting the country’s activities.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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