UAE Begins First Cloud Seeding Of 2024

UAE Begins First Cloud Seeding Of 2024

UAE Begins First Cloud Seeding Of 2024

UAE Begins First Cloud Seeding Of 2024

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In December 2023, the UAE had a drier winter than usual due to less rainfall caused by a pressure system affecting both surface and upper layers. December saw lighter rainfall, leading to a milder winter compared to previous years. However, there is optimism for a weather change in 2024 as cloud-seeding efforts continue.

Cloud seeding, a practice in the UAE, adds at least 15% more rainfall annually, producing between 84 and 419 million cubic meters of usable water. Dr. Ahmed Habib, a climate expert from the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), highlighted ongoing cloud-seeding efforts. In 2024, operations targeted northern areas like Hatta, certain regions north of Al Ain, and parts of Fujairah, following cloud cover and light rain on Monday and Tuesday.

Discussing the weather anomalies, Habib noted a slight overall increase in warmth in 2023, with some areas experiencing cooler conditions. Prolonged high pressure in Saudi Arabia affected rain-bearing cloud dispersion, impacting expected rainfall in nearby areas.

Cloud seeding, managed by the NCM and the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, addresses water scarcity. Launched by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, this innovative solution involves adding elements to clouds to boost precipitation, benefiting domestic, industrial water use, and agriculture. The UAE conducts over 900 hours of cloud-seeding missions annually, a well-organized practice.

Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAEREP, highlighted global recognition for the UAE’s progress in rain enhancement research. The process involves dedicated aircraft with flares containing nucleating agents, stimulating cloud droplet growth and causing precipitation.

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These technological advancements not only position the UAE at the forefront of rain enhancement research but also generate global interest in sustainable alternatives to traditional freshwater sources. The nation’s focus remains on addressing water scarcity challenges through innovative and impactful solutions as cloud-seeding efforts continue.

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