If you are wondering why it rained so much this winter in the UAE, the answer might be more surprising of what you can possibly think. According to updates from the National Center of Meteorology & Seismology (NCMS)’s meteorologist and cloud seeding expert Sufian Farrah, as reported by The National, cloud seeding operations might have played a decisive role in this extraordinarily wet winter.
Annual rainfall in the UAE rarely exceeds 120 millimeters whereas the last 9 March 2016 alone we have witnessed a rainfall of 287 millimeters as reported by ArabianBusiness.
The aim of the 77 cloud seeding missions performed during the first three months of the year was to increase the chance of rain (even though the cloud seeding operation doesn’t necessarily makes it rain) and the quantity of rain falling on the UAE.
This is very important to replenish the water reserves both above ground (dams and channels) and underground,, sustaining the agriculture sector and reducing the overall need of producing sweet water from the sea for daily use.
Basically the clouds are “injected” with salt crystals by mall planes which fly above the clouds. Not all the clouds are targeted since the NCMS cloud seeding programme focuses on mature clouds that have the right configuration to generate rain.
“We covered most of the available clouds in the country, so the rainfall increased. Even if we didn’t carry out any operations it would rain, but the objective of cloud seeding is rain enhancement, and most of the clouds that are subject to seeding will generate rain,” he is quoted saying.
National Center of Meteorology & Seismology regularly publishes interesting videos and photos like the following.
— UAE WEATHER (@NCMS_media) January 3, 2016