Weather: Dubai makes it own fake rain with drones to tackle 50°C heat

Drone technology is being used in the United Arab Emirates to create more rain (Image: University of Reading / UAE National Meteorological Center)

Dubai has been inundated with downpours, partly because cloud seeding projects are generating ‘intensified rain’.

The city of the United Arab Emirates has had to endure a sweltering summer with temperatures regularly exceeding the 50C threshold.

In response, the UAE’s National Meteorological Center is experimenting with drone technology that discharges electrical charges into clouds, causing them to clump together and form rain.

NCM has shared footage of monsoon-like showers drenching the roads and flashing lights.

They say cloud seeding has contributed to more rainfall in a country that typically reaches just 4 inches a year, far less than the 33 inches commonly found in the UK.

nation reported that rain and strong winds cut visibility on the road and created difficult driving conditions.

Residents have been warned that unsettled weather is possible as they celebrate Eid Al Adha this week.

Cloud seeding is one of nine different rain-generating projects being used in the UAE as of 2017.

UAE suffered heavy rainfall after creating clouds

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Other techniques involve releasing salt or other chemicals into the clouds to encourage precipitation.

Some studies have shown it can increase rainfall by up to 35% although other scholars doubt its effectiveness.

Cloud seed has also been used in other drought-affected countries including China and India.

It can also be used to block rainfall and prevent potential flooding, as seen in Jakarta, Indonesia, last year.

The rain makes driving difficult (Photo: UAE National Meteorological Center)
Rain and strong winds reduce visibility on roads (Image: UAE National Meteorological Center)

Professor Maarten Ambaum, from the University of Reading, is working on one of the projects in the UAE.

He told BBC Earlier this year, the UAE had enough clouds to create conditions that would allow rainfall to be generated.

The technology works ‘like dry hair with a comb’, he says, as it uses a drone to discharge an electrical charge into the clouds, helping the droplets merge and stick together to form Precipitation.

Professor Ambaum added: ‘When the droplets merge and become large enough, they fall as rain.

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