Al Ain Clouding seeding is a simple process that does not make rain but actually enhances the rainfall. Scientists and meteorologists spread dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide), silver iodide, or some other types of salts on top of convective or cumuliform clouds.

These salts stimulate the precipitation process in the clouds that results in rain. Scientists said rain clouds principally consist of very cold water particles. These particles remain stable until droplets accumulate around them.

Scientists have been doing cloud seeding experiments for decades, leading to various modern methods. In some cases, scientists used military artillery guns to sprinkle salt over the clouds. The use of a specialised aircraft has become a popular mode of cloud seeding.

Ali Al Mussalam, Head of Cloud Seeding Operations Section at the NCMS, said his organisation uses aircraft with racks, mounted on the wings, for holding the salt containing flares. The NCMs first gather required information through weather satellite, pictures and the NCMS weather radar network and then the plain takes off for the operation.

Reaching over the clouds, the pilots shot the flares that inject the salts in the upper coldest portion of the clouds. The process helps develop water droplets that gradually grow in size by colliding with each other and that’s what the scientists called the coalescence. These droplets then start dropping and form the rain.

Ahmad Aqeel, a meteorologist in Al Ain, said clouding seeding is an interesting technology. “But it’s not a rain-making process,” he said. The process can simply enhance rainfall for which it needs natural clouds formation, he explained.

He said UAE is located in arid region where water scarcity poses a huge challenge. Cloud seeding is an important source of increasing rainfall and replenishing the groundwater resources. “It is good that UAE has acquired the required capability and a very active cloud seeding programme,” he Aqeel.