Dubai Rain: Explaining Cloud Seeding And UAE Flooding | The Shivalik
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Dubai Rain: Explaining Cloud Seeding and UAE Flooding

The arid nation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) received the “heaviest rain ever” on Tuesday, leading to flooding in Dubai.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman also received rainfall on Tuesday. The widespread rain witnessed across the UAE is believed to have been caused by “cloud seeding”, among other factors. 

Emirates’ National Center for Meteorology (NCM) reportedly conducted six or seven cloud-seeding flights before the rains that caused havoc in Dubai, according to meteorologists at NCM quoted in several media reports. 

How extreme was the rainfall?

Dubai is situated on the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is usually very dry. But while it receives less than 100mm (3.9in) a year of rainfall on average, it does experience occasional extreme downpours.

In the city of Al-Ain – just over 100km (62 miles) from Dubai – about 256mm (10in) of rain was recorded in just 24 hours.

A “cut off” low-pressure weather system, which drew in warm, moist air and blocked other weather systems from coming through was the main cause.

“This part of the world is characterized by long periods without rain and then irregular, heavy rainfall, but even so, this was a very rare rainfall event,” explains Prof Maarten Ambaum, a meteorologist at the University of Reading who has studied rainfall patterns in the Gulf region.