Rain in the UAE is not an occurrence that happens often, and it often begs the question of what brought about the rain to town. The UAE has a primarily warm, dry climate, with the exception of the cooler weather in the Winter season. So, when it rains, it captures every resident’s attention and even makes the news. With an upcoming forecast of 4-day rainfall issued by the UAE, you’re likely wondering what causes the sudden rain to pour. So, what brings about the rain in the UAE? Read on to find out…

What is Cloud Seeding?

For many years the UAE has spearheaded cloud seeding as a means of addressing the country’s generally dry environment, supplying extra rainfall to boost agriculture and address water security issues.

The method of seeding is intricate with a lot of research being done to determine how effective it is. However, the basic method is to attempt to produce more rain by launching salt flares or other small materials into clouds. The UAE started its seeding programme in the 90s, and as the 2000s wore on, the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) collaborated with international partners like NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the US.

According to the Minister of Climate Change of Environment, Mariam Al Mheiri, the nation’s rain enhancement initiative is essential to enhancing food and water security. As well as replenishing groundwater reserves and driving tourism.

How effective is the process?

The fact that no two clouds are alike is one of the main issues, according to cloud seeding researcher Lulin Xue, Chief Scientist at Hua Xin Chuang Zhi Science and Technology group in China.

The UAE has particularly “complicated” clouds, Mr. Lulin reveals. “UAE clouds, when developed, are harder to predict because you have so many components to fit in,” he said.

When clouds originate above mountains, they react differently to cloud-seeding activities compared to clouds that form over low-lying areas. Rainfall can be influenced by the size of the seeding particles, which are often salt crystals, as well as by the amount of the material used. However, increasing the amount of material that reaches clouds does not guarantee an increase in precipitation.

When will it rain next in the UAE?

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November 15–18 will have varying degrees of rain in the United Arab Emirates, according to NCM. The most recent weather notice was issued over the weekend. The entire nation is expected to be cloudy on Wednesday, November 15, with evening rains predicted. Thunder, lightning and rain are predicted for the east, north and coastal regions of the nation on Thursday and Friday.

Umbrellas at the ready…