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16 April 2024

National Centre of Meteorology completes 219 cloud seeding operations in H1 2020

Photo: WAM


The National Centre of Meteorology, NCM, announced that it has carried out 219 cloud seeding operations across the country in the first half of 2020, using a total of 4,841 flares produced by NCM's Emirates Weather Enhancement Factory, as well as 419 ground generator flares.

"NCM’s cloud seeding operations demonstrate the importance placed by the UAE on providing sustainable water resources through encouraging research and innovation in water-related technologies," NCM said in a statement on Monday.

With an average rainfall of 100 mm per year, the UAE is ranked among the water stressed countries, and the it's ambitious rain enhancement programme aims to increase the annual precipitation levels in an effort to enhance the country’s water security through augmenting its strategic groundwater resources.

Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of World Meteorological Organisation, WMO, said, "In line with the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership to ensure the safety and sustainability of our water resources, NCM plays a prominent role in carrying out cloud seeding operations using the latest scientific and technological methods."

He added, "The UAE has been a forerunner in adopting rain enhancement technologies in the region. To achieve the objectives of UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, UAEREP, NCM has developed a wide network of local and international partners. Furthermore, our state-of-the-art infrastructure, coupled with excellent research and development capabilities have helped the programme cement its prominent position in cloud seeding research, and attract top global scientists and research institutions specialised in this important scientific domain.

"Moreover, the Emirates Weather Enhancement Factory has allowed the Centre to produce high-quality flares to use in its cloud seeding operations."

NCM said its cloud seeding operations rely on a sophisticated network of radars that monitor the country’s atmosphere around the clock and provide data on clouds. A team of pilots and technicians based at NCM’s dedicated operations room analyze this data, and carry out cloud seeding operations with high accuracy and efficiency if they detect seedable clouds.

The UAEREP articulates the UAE’s sustained efforts to bring about a profound change in the way we address water stress challenges through leading scientific and research efforts and leveraging innovative technologies. As the rain enhancement science continues to evolve through innovation and effective international collaboration, the UAE demonstrates its inspiring vision and commitment to ensuing global sustainability and water security.

NCM provides crucial support for UAEREP awardee projects through providing advanced technologies and facilities including a network of radars, weather stations and aircrafts, and ensuring support from subject matter experts. It also facilitates testing and practical application of research projects in the UAE, enabling the awardees to achieve the objectives of their research.

The success of cloud seeding requires an advanced statistical operations and procedures, whereby cloud’s seedability is evaluated through analyzing data from at least 150 cumulus clouds. These clouds are seeded using a randomised statistical method which involves the study of physical and dynamic changes occurred in the cloud before and after seeding process by specialised experts. The study was carried out in the country in 2004, and indicated that rain enhancement can stimulate clouds in varying degrees depending on the prevailing weather conditions.