United Arab Emirates uses aircraft to produce artificial rainfall amid sweltering heat

On Sunday, the National Center of Meteorology released video footage of heavy downpours Credit: officialuaeweather (Instagram)

The United Arab Emirates is using 'cloud seeding' technology to produce heavy artificial rain as temperatures climb to over 40C. 

The enhanced rain is reportedly created using aircraft that fly into clouds and release flares to help them clump together and form precipitation. 

Implemented by the UAE's National Center of Meteorology (NCM), the introduction of the cloud seeding technology is part of an ongoing effort to curb the Gulf's states lack of rainfall.

The NCM has reportedly carried out 126 cloud seeding flights since the beginning of 2021

On average, precipitation in the country measures just 100mm per year, compared with the UK's average of 1,300mm.

The NCM has undertaken 126 cloud seeding flights since the beginning of 2021, including 14 flights since last Tuesday, according to Gulf Today.

Abu Dhabi and Al Ain are among the cities that have benefitted from the artificial rainfall.

On Sunday, the NCM, which helps monitor changes in the atmosphere, released video footage of heavy downpours, suggesting the technology was successful.

Though evidence of the effectiveness of the technique is not conclusive, some studies have shown that cloud seeding could increase rainfall by up to 35%.

The cloud seeding technology used in the UAE has also been tested in Bath Credit: University of Bath

The UAE is also trialling new technology, developed at the University of Reading, that could see drones used to deliver electric shocks to clouds to create rain in future.Professor Maarten Ambaum, of the University of Reading, who is working on research analysing cloud seeding technology in the UAE, told ITV News: "The Reading team of scientists have worked on a project funded by the UAE to examine rainfall enhancement techniques in the UAE. Our work was on examining the role of electric charge in rainfall formation in the UAE.

“We did computer modelling work on trying to figure out whether electric charge could potentially enhance rain formation in clouds. We also did measurements of the electrical environment in the UAE. We built drones that could deliver charge to the environment. All of these project aims were successfully achieved, but note that we never actually used the drones to do rainfall seeding experiments."

“We did some pilot experiments with the drones, in the UK, where we were able to verify that the drone could indeed deliver charge in the environment," he added.