The city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has developed drone technology that “shocks” clouds by producing rain.
It’s part of multi-million efforts to tackle the freezing weather and bring up the meager average of just four inches of precipitation per year in this Middle Eastern country.
The country – one of the driest on the planet – is currently struggling with a heat wave that regularly sees locals roasting at temperatures of 50 ° C.
Its National Meteorological Center has therefore started testing drone technology, which releases electrical charges in clouds.
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One such method, known as cloud seeding, causes clouds to clump together and form precipitation.
Spectacular footage released by NCM shows monsoon showers hitting cars as they drive through highways in scenes that would only truly be seen in countries in Southeast Asia – but certainly not in the United Arab Emirates.
And the drones appear to have been so effective that yellow weather warnings have been issued in other parts of the country where the technology has also been tested.
At one point, the downpour was so dramatic that concerns were raised about whether the technology had gone too far because it had caused flooding, Wired reports.
Professor Maarten Ambaum, University of Reading, is working on the Cloud Seeding Project, one of nine rain improvement strategies funded by the UAE since 2017.
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“The water table is drastically sinking [the] The United Arab Emirates and the point of this is to try to help with the precipitation, ”he told the BBC earlier this year.
He said the UAE has enough clouds for the technology, which works “like dry hair to a comb” to work.
“When the drops merge and are large enough, they will fall as rain,” Prof. Ambaum said.