Dubai has lately a heat wave of up to 50 degrees Celsius and its National Meteorological Center has thus begun experimenting with the use of drone technology to release electrical charges into the clouds and generate rain. According to the Daily Mail, the government created artificial rain using drones that flew into the clouds and released the electrical charges needed to have rain.
The system is believed to be an environmentally friendly alternative, as it does not require the use of chemicals. This method, known as cloud seeding, causes clouds to gather and form precipitation. The project is one of nine rain enhancement projects funded by the United Arab Emirates.
At one point, the rain was so severe that concerns were raised about whether the technology had gone a step too far causing flooding. Professor Martin Ambaum of the University of Reading has been working on the cloud seeding project, one of nine UAE-funded rain enhancement strategies since 2017.
When the droplets coalesce and become large enough, they will fall as rainProfessor Martin Ambaum
The National Meteorological Center had a specific plan to conduct the cloud seeding process. They first issued weather warnings in the east of the country for the possibility of convective cloud formations (which cause precipitation and winds with speeds of 40 km/h and are formed due to high temperatures that cause warm, moist air to rise from the surrounding cooler air present in the atmosphere).
Rainmaking, also known as artificial precipitation, is the deliberate production or enhancement of precipitation to minimize drought or global warming. Although it may sound like science fiction, research on cloud seeding dates back to the 1940s; however, only in recent years has the technology proven effective.
Drones release an electrical charge into the clouds, causing them to coalesce and generate rain. According to the UAE National Meteorological Center, the technology is favored over other forms of cloud seeding because it uses electricity to generate rain instead of chemicals.
As this Middle Eastern country receives very little rainfall per year and summer temperatures that routinely exceed 47 to 48°C, the government has invested a total of $15 million since 2017 in nine projects in the hope of increasing rainfall in the region.