overcast skies in Dubai
Rain in Dubai. Image Credit: Tanmay Patel/Gulf News reader

Dubai: The UAE is abuzz with excitement, over rain. A mere sprinkle in the forecast has sent students, office workers, and everyone in between into a full-blown weather-wishing frenzy.

Gulf News’ Instagram comments have been overflowing with pleading hand emojis, students requesting the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), and adults hoping for a work-from-home opportunity. All because of the promise of rainfall early next week.

One student writes, “Dear NCM, I am kindly asking you to make it rain on Monday before sunrise. I have a really pointless exam on Monday, and I'm 100 per cent sure no one wants to attend it from my grade. Thank you.”

Another young follower echoed the sentiment. “Dear UAE, please make it rain on Monday, heavily, because I have an English mock exam which is useless. Please make it rain so my friends and I don't have to give the … exam. Thank you. PS: Try to make it rain till March 15, so I do not have to give my mocks at all.”

Instagram user @bettybongah, responded with laughing emojis, adding: “Reading this comment as a teacher in Dubai.”

The cries for a rain-induced day off echoed throughout the comments. Another student pleaded in all-caps, "CANCEL MATH EXAM PLEASE.”

The NCM, ever the voice of reason, reminds everyone that weather patterns are a tad more complex than Instagram comments, no matter how heartfelt. They can't just whip up a downpour on demand, even if it means happy students and pajama-clad adults.

Instagram user @levi_fication pleaded: “Gimme (give me) work from home please…”, and @tehseen_maha posted: “I wish it would be heavy rain. So we could stay at home rather than going to office.”

Instagram user @bhatia.shiney chimed in: “Please do very heavy rain so that Monday we get off day from work.”

So, is it possible to make it rain in a specific place at a specific time? Can NCM change or affect the intensity of rainfall in a certain place?

“The answer is simply, no,” said an NCM spokesperson.

Why? In previous interviews with Gulf News, NCM officials have explained that cloud-seeding missions can only be carried out when there are clouds either developing over the UAE or passing over the country from other areas.

The technique of cloud seeding is used to improve a naturally-formed cloud's ability to produce rain or snow, by encouraging smaller water droplets within clouds to merge into larger, heavier raindrops, ultimately falling to the ground.

The NCM only uses the technique to encourage rainfall. It cannot increase or alter the amount of rain in a cloud. Nor can it affect the location of the rain, since other factors like wind direction, speed, and topography affects where rain from the seeded clouds eventually fall.

For instance, the movement of clouds is often interrupted by the mountains in the eastern part of the country, causing heavier rainfall in Fujairah and nearby areas.

In an interview with Gulf News, a senior meteorologist from NCM explained on Thursday, that rain is expected between February 25 and 26. It is most likely that rainfall will occur late on Sunday evening or in the early hours of Monday, he said.

While Dubai and Sharjah are expected to receive light to moderate rainfall, there is a chance of heavy downpours in and around Fujairah, he confirmed.

But hey, a little humour never hurt anyone. So let's appreciate the creativity of these rain-obsessed residents. We may not get our Monday monsoon, but at least we got some good laughs along the way.