Some parts of the United Arab Emirates have experienced heavy rains for the second day, although summers are usually a dry season with intense heat, local forecasters said.
Experts said the rains came after experimenting with new rain-causing technologies. Summer in the UAE is dry, during the day it is often hot around 50 degrees, and there is no precipitation. Showers took place in different parts of the country, including the capital emirate.
In addition, precipitation is expected in Qatar, where droughts are common in summer. Showers are forecast from Saturday to mid-next week. It is noted that in Qatar, precipitation does not fall at all in summer, and since last autumn there was only a couple of rains.
In arid countries, authorities are actively looking for ways to induce precipitation. In spring, the UAE began testing drones capable of causing rain without chemicals - using electric charges.
British researchers have been tasked by the UAE to study ways to induce precipitation in the Persian Gulf using drones emitting electricity into the clouds.
The UAE paid $ 1.4 million to a British team to test how an electric charge can expand and combine water droplets, turning them into precipitation.
The move is a step forward in advancing cloud seeding in the country, which uses planes to drop chemicals into clouds to increase precipitation by 30 percent, according to its own data
About 80 percent of the UAE's food is imported, raising concerns about the sustainability of the oil-rich country.
But researchers at the University of Reading hope to reverse the rainfall trend by using drones to deliver pulses of charged ions into the atmosphere.
They believe that the use of low-power electrical discharges on cloud droplets can stimulate the formation of raindrops.
Many countries use alternative methods to induce rain, including atmospheric spraying of saline compounds, silver iodide and dry ice
China made headlines ahead of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing for influencing the weather with such methods.
Ala Al-Mazroui, director of the UAE's Rain Enhancement Research Program, said the remote-controlled drones were developed in the UK.
“Equipped with a payload of electrical charge release devices and specialized sensors, these drones will fly at low altitude and transfer electrical charge to air molecules, which should contribute to precipitation,” she said.
Dr. Keri Nicoll, an associate professor at the University of Reading who is involved in the project, said: “If you emit a charge inside a cloud, very quickly that charge will be collected by water droplets. Our theoretical and modeling work has shown that the charge of these small droplets can increase the likelihood of their coalescence. under the influence of electrostatic forces and, ultimately, help them turn into raindrops."
With an average rainfall of just 100mm per year, the UAE is investing heavily in this new study to increase freshwater supplies.
Al-Mazrui said it is too early to predict the effectiveness of the study, which is one of nine "rain boost" projects that received $ 15 million in funding from the UAE Presidential Affairs Ministry in 2017.