cloud seeding

What Is Cloud Seeding?

Cloud seeding is a weather modification technique that aims to enhance rainfall in areas experiencing water scarcity. By introducing substances like silver iodide or dry ice into clouds, smaller water droplets are encouraged to merge into larger ones, which then have a greater chance of falling to the ground as rain. This process can help increase precipitation in areas where rainfall is limited, such as arid regions. Cloud seeding has been used in various countries around the world, including the United Arab Emirates, to improve water resources and mitigate the impacts of drought.

Is Cloud Seeding The Reason Behind Dubai Floods?

Omar AlYazeedi, the Deputy Director General of the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has clarified that the NCM did not perform any cloud seeding operations before or during the intense storms that resulted in flooding incidents in areas like Dubai. AlYazeedi emphasized that cloud seeding is most effective when targeting clouds in their early stages before rainfall, and severe thunderstorms make such operations inadvisable. The UAE experienced an extraordinary heavy rainfall event on Tuesday, with over 250 millimeters (10 inches) recorded in Al Ain and more than 100 mm in Dubai, according to NCM data. Despite monitoring the incoming heavy rain, the NCM did not target any clouds during this period, attributing the storm to natural rainfall. The UAE government has been utilizing cloud seeding as a critical component of their efforts to address water scarcity since the 1990s, with over 1,000 hours of cloud seeding operations carried out annually. However, the NCM does not conduct cloud seeding operations during extreme weather events to ensure the safety of people, pilots, and aircraft.
 

Destruction Caused By Heavy Rains In Dubai :

  1. Dubai International Airport, one of the world’s busiest for international travel, experienced significant disruption due to the heavy rainfall, with some arrivals and departures canceled or delayed.
  2. Cars were left stranded on flooded roads, causing traffic congestion and delays.
  3. Water entered the city’s expensive malls, homes and underground car parks, leaving some buildings without power and resulting in widespread flooding even a day later, causing significant inconvenience and damage to property.
  4. Events like the Dubai Watch Week and the Dubai Airshow were disrupted, with attendees stranded in hotels.
  5. The flooding also resulted in infrastructure damage and at least one reported fatality.

Can Dubai prevent such floods in future?

Events like the flood in Dubai can be challenging to completely prevent in the future due to the unpredictable nature of weather patterns. However, there are strategies that can be implemented to mitigate the impact of such extreme weather events. Improving drainage systems, enhancing infrastructure resilience, and implementing effective urban planning to manage water flow during heavy rainfall can help reduce the risk of flooding. Investing in early warning systems, emergency preparedness, and response strategies can also play a crucial role in minimizing the impact on residents and visitors. While natural disasters cannot always be entirely averted, proactive measures can significantly reduce the damage and disruption caused by events like the flood in Dubai.

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