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Thu 21 Nov 2019 11:40 AM

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Cloud-seeding not responsible for latest storms, says UAE meteorology centre

Heavy downpours on Wednesday caused flooding in the Northern Emirates

Cloud-seeding not responsible for latest storms, says UAE meteorology centre

Cloud seeding involves flying light aircraft into the base of clouds and releasing flares containing potassium chloride, sodium chloride and magnesium. 

Cloud-seeding in the UAE dos not cause thunder storms, according to the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM).

However, local media outlet Khaleej Times reported that the NCM carried out nine cloud seeding operations on Wednesday as heavy rain lashed the country.

The storms were particularly bad in the Northern Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain.

But experts have said that the downpours were entirely natural and typical for this time of year.

UAE rain: The story behind cloud seeding and how much it costs

ABTV's Shruthi Nair explains how cloud seeding is done and how much it costs in the UAE.

A forecaster for the NCM said: “All we do is try to strengthen some clouds. Some say we are responsible for storms. We are not responsible for this.

“Aircraft do not go inside storm clouds if they are strong or dangerous."

Wednesday’s storms saw all schools in the UAE close on safety grounds.

According to the report in Khaleej Times, the cloud seeding team carried out 181 flights from the beginning of the year until November 11. Several more flights were carried out after that, enhancing the rainfall which poured across the UAE last week.

Cloud seeding involves flying light aircraft into the base of clouds and releasing flares containing potassium chloride, sodium chloride and magnesium. The mixture encourages water vapour in the clouds to form droplets heavy enough to fall as rain.

In warm countries, including the UAE, existing water drops are often too small to form raindrops, instead evaporating before they reach the ground.

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