Scientists are using drones to create artificial rainstorms in the blazing hot Middle East

  • 31 Jul - 06 Aug, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Controlling the weather sounds like a power reserved for superheroes, but thanks to scientists, it is very much reality in the United Arab Emirates. According to CBS News, the Middle Eastern country recently began using drones to create rainstorms over its cities, which regularly experience hot temperatures. UAE's National Center of Meteorology released a pair of Instagram videos this week showing heavy rain in the country, including in the Northern beach city of Ras al Khaimah. Typically, UAE only receives about four inches of rain a year. The rain-making technology – called "cloud-seeding" – works by blasting clouds with electrical charges, which forces them to drop rain. While UAE does not have a lot of rain, it does have "plenty" of cloud coverage, making it a great place to test the technology. The team began tests near Dubai earlier this year, Keri Nicoll, an investigator on the project, explained to CNN. Nicoll said the electrical charges help smaller water droplets merge with the bigger ones, creating even larger raindrops. This is important since smaller raindrops are likely to evaporate before they hit the ground due to the country's high temperatures. There is hope the technology can be an environmentally viable answer to water security. But there is still debate about the process, and some researchers have expressed concerns about whether cloud-seeding in one area could take the rain away from somewhere else.