Nine cloud-seed­ing flights un­der­taken since Fri­day as rain falls steadily over the UAE

The National - News - - EMIRATES NEWS - JOHN DEN­NEHY

Nine cloud-seed­ing mis­sions have been un­der­taken over the UAE’s skies since Fri­day as the bout of un­set­tled weather con­tin­ues.

The mis­sions were flown through­out the coun­try, from Fri­day morn­ing to 10am yes­ter­day, the Na­tional Cen­tre of Me­te­o­rol­ogy told The Na­tional.

Rain had been fall­ing for the past few days, with 16.6 mil­lime­tres at a weather sta­tion in Al Ain on Fri­day and Satur­day. Recorded at Damtha, it was the max­i­mum fall over the coun­try dur­ing this time.

The rain has con­tin­ued since then and videos posted to the weather bureau’s so­cial me­dia chan­nels yes­ter­day showed down­falls in many parts of the coun­try, in­clud­ing Dubai and Shar­jah. It co­in­cides with a pe­riod of un­set­tled weather as the coun­try goes though sea­sonal change.

“We ex­pect some rain [to­day] and the sea is go­ing to be mod­er­ate to rough, es­pe­cially with the cloud ac­tiv­ity over the Ara­bian Gulf,” a fore­caster said yes­ter­day.

The rain is ex­pected to per­sist un­til mid­week when the weather is ex­pected to change. Hu­mid­ity is set to in­crease, along with a risk of mist and fog.

The bureau’s cloud-seed­ing mis­sions run through­out the year. Dur­ing the sum­mer rain can fall, es­pe­cially in eastern ar­eas be­cause of the mon­soon clouds that drift from In­dia. Last year the bureau con­ducted 242 mis­sions, while 177 were un­der­taken in 2016. Clouds suit­able for seed­ing are called con­vec­tive, also known as cumil­form, which have an up­draft in the mid­dle.

When these can be seen on radar, pilots are sent to the lo­ca­tion and fire salt flares into the up­draft. The par­ti­cles at­tract tiny droplets of wa­ter and en­cour­age con­den­sa­tion.

The droplets then collide with oth­ers, be­come larger and even­tu­ally fall to the ground as rain.

Na­tional Cen­tre for Me­te­o­rol­ogy

Cloud-seed­ing takes place across the UAE through­out the year

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