UAE Takes Cloud Seeding to New Heights with High-Tech Aircraft

The UAE decided to enhance the cloud seeding procedures after the National Centre of Meteorology ( NCM) declared it would add more advanced aircraft to its fleet on Wednesday, April 6. 

The new aircraft, the Wx-80 turboprop, can carry more cloud-seeding materials than the Beechcraft KingAir C90 planes and is outfitted with more safely sophisticated equipment and other modern systems. 

This is a significant step in the cloud seeding mission, which will enhance and expand the cloud seeding operations throughout the country, ensuring water security in all emirates. 

At this point, it’s still being determined how many aircraft will be acquired or when they will start functioning in the cloud seeding programs. 

In January 2023, the country started 13 cloud seeding missions within one week, which resulted in receiving heavy downpours for a few days in the country. 

What is cloud seeding? 

Cloud seeding is a complex process involving continuous research, which is being undertaken to improve its effectiveness. The goal of the process is to modify the weather and change the type of precipitation that falls from the clouds. The cloud seeding method includes sodium chloride, firing magnesium and potassium chloride into clouds to produce rain. 

National Centre of Meteorology & Seismology meteorologist Sufian Farhan said to Arabian Business that, compared to desalination, cloud seeding is the cheapest way to produce water, and it can also deliver one cubic meter of water for Dh3.67( while through desalination it costs Dhs220 to have the same amount of water. 

The UAE has undertaken this program since the 1990s under the partnership with NCM. 

Besides, the UAE also collaborated for the same program with a global organisation like Nasa in the 2000s. 

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