Record Rainfall, Flooding in UAE Linked to Cloud Seeding Efforts

UAE experiences record-breaking rainfall, causing severe flooding and disrupting Dubai airport operations. Cloud seeding efforts may have contributed to the intensity, raising concerns about weather modification's unintended consequences.

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Trim Correspondents
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Record Rainfall and Flooding in UAE Linked to Cloud Seeding Efforts

Record Rainfall and Flooding in UAE Linked to Cloud Seeding Efforts

The United Arab Emirates has experienced its heaviest rainfall ever recorded, causing severe flooding that disrupted operations at Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest airport for international travel. The heavy rains, which began late Monday and continued through Tuesday, dumped over 142 millimeters (5.59 inches) of rainfall in Dubai, far exceeding the average annual rainfall of 94.7 millimeters (3.73 inches).

The flooding disrupted operations at the airport, with passengers struggling to reach the terminals through the floodwaters. Emirates airline had to halt check-in for departing passengers and work to clear the airport of transit passengers. The UAE government conducted cloud seeding efforts prior to the rains, which may have contributed to the intensity of the precipitation.

The flooding also affected other parts of the UAE, with schools and government offices closed due to the heavy rains, and some residents having to bail out their homes. In neighboring Oman, the heavy rains resulted in the deaths of at least 18 people, including 10 schoolchildren.

The record-breaking rainfall and subsequent flooding in the UAE highlight the potential unintended consequences of weather modification techniques like cloud seeding. As more countries explore these methods to address water scarcity, it raises questions about the need for robust infrastructure and emergency preparedness to handle extreme precipitation events.

The UAE's National Center of Meteorology confirmed that cloud seeding operations had been carried out in the 24 hours leading up to the heavy rains. "The NCM has carried out cloud seeding operations in the last 24 hours, with six trips executed from Monday to Tuesday afternoon," said an NCM meteorology expert. The UAE has been conducting cloud seeding efforts since 2002 to boost its limited groundwater resources, despite the risk of triggering flooding due to cloud seeding and the lack of drainage infrastructure in many areas.

Key Takeaways

  • UAE experienced record-breaking rainfall, causing severe flooding and disrupting Dubai airport.
  • Flooding affected schools, government offices, and residents, with 18 deaths in neighboring Oman.
  • UAE conducted cloud seeding operations prior to the heavy rains, which may have contributed to the intensity.
  • Cloud seeding raises concerns about unintended consequences and the need for infrastructure and preparedness.
  • UAE has been conducting cloud seeding since 2002 to boost limited groundwater resources.