Dubai is currently creating fake rain in a bid to tackle the scorching fifty-degree weather (122°F), and they're doing it successfully!
With an average rainfall of just 4 inches, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) often sees temperatures reach record-breaking heights. So, the Middle Eastern country has had to turn to technology to combat the astonishing heat.
It was recently announced, like in an episode of Black Mirror, that the UAE had funded a project that would see drones having the capacity to influence and control the weather. The country paid $15 million towards 9 different rain-enhancement projects, which were in part created by the University of Reading in the U.K.
The drones work by zapping the clouds with an electric charge which then apparently charges the droplets in the clouds, which makes the droplets more likely to fall as rain, according to scientists.
The UAE is one of the aridest countries on earth, however, they hope the technique could help increase annual rainfall. And surprisingly, the drone technique seems to be working. Video footage released by the UAE's National Center of Meteorology shows monsoon-like downpours across the country.
Waterfalls are seen on the side of the roads as drivers struggle to navigate through the torrential downpours, despite the country being witness to one of their summer heatwaves.
Alya Al-Mazroui, director of the UAE's rain-enhancement science-research program, told Arab News in March: "Equipped with a payload of electric-charge emission instruments and customized sensors, these drones will fly at low altitudes and deliver an electric charge to air molecules, which should encourage precipitation."
Other modes of rain enhancement technology include launching salt missiles into clouds from planes, which scientists at the UAE's National Center of Meteorology call "cloud-seeding."
Not every cloud they seed produces rainfall, but often they do, with other countries using similar methods for their benefit. U.S ski resorts in Colorado reportedly use the method to induce heavier snowfall, and in 2008, Beijing used the technique to create a downpour elsewhere to keep the stadium dry. This involved firing rockets packed with silver iodide crystals into rainclouds over the suburbs of Beijing.
Several videos have been shared on the Official UAE Weather's Instagram account to demonstrate the drones' success and, at a glance, you wouldn't think the videos were taken in Dubai. The drones have worked so well that yellow weather warnings have been issued in parts of the country.
As of Sunday, July 18th, the rainfall was said to be continuing throughout the UAE, which the National Centre of Meteorology credited cloud seeding efforts for, the Khaleej Times reports.
However, some fear that the UAE have gone too far in its efforts as the rain has begun to cause floods in some areas according to Wired.
The UAE is also looking into methods to preserve the rain that does hit the ground, instead of allowing it to quickly evaporate or flow off into the sea. They have begun to build dams and reservoirs to gather water that floods desert valleys. The country has around 130 dams and levees with a storage capacity of about 120 million cubic metres (more than four billion cubic feet), according to the ministry report.