What's really causing the torrential rain and flooding in the UAE

Rain, rain go away
What's really causing the torrential rain and flooding in the UAE

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Few things in life are guaranteed, but when you live in the UAE, it’s usually safe to assume that the weather dial is firmly stuck on sunshine (and more sunshine) and not torrential downpours that render the region’s road network one big fat infinity pool.

But the recent rainfall in places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, although not typical of a desert climate, is not inexplicable, and can be attributed to ongoing experiments with cloud seeding.

Cloud seeding involves changing the chemical composition of existing clouds to encourage precipitation.

And in October, The Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs to expand global water security, announced that it had conducted eight cloud seeding operations in one period, and a total of 6.7 million cubic metres of waters had been collected.

Rain enhancement has also been actively pursued by a number of other countries including China, parts of the USA, India and Thailand.

On the ground, Dubai Airports has warned travellers to expect some disruption to flights, and is asking passengers to check its website for updated information, while police in Abu Dhabi have warned its residents to exercise caution on public roads.

Sections of the coast in Fujairah and Sharjah are expected to receive large amounts of rainfall and experience stormy conditions until approximately 8pm on Monday, 11 November.

However, the weather is expected to return to relative normality by Wednesday. 

Photos: Supplied and Instagram