An exploration of artificial rain

An exploration of artificial rain

With torrential rainfall in the United Arab Emirates this weekend, Fire Middle East looks at the artificial rain in the Middle East, and the state-of-the-art cloud-seeding techniques that promise to douse wildfires and restore eco-systems in the near future.

What was once futuristic, the control of the weather, is quickly becoming a reality due to cloud seeding.

In the quaint airstrip of Al Ain, ground teams are consistently checking meteorological equipment and weather-reporting computers, creating paths for seeding and projecting weather data in real time.

The entire operation is built around 4 planes, each mounted with 24 salt flares.

20 minutes into the flight, the innovative salt flares are ignited, lasting between two and three minutes. Micro-salts are launched from the flares, serving as cloud condensation and ice nuclei, which stimulates microphysical processes within the cloud.

Essentially, the insertion and stimulation of dry ice into the atmosphere is what leads to rainfall.

The UAE leads in this groundbreaking technique, by using experimental technology to continue encouraging rainfall in clouds. Due to electric-charge emission instruments in rainclouds, and exciting air molecules from ground planes, a 6.9 millimetre rainstorm lasted in Al Ain between the 20th and 21st of July.

In the future, this technology will better control not only flash floods but be used to suppress wildfire growth and intensity.

Find out more via official sources.