x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 October 2017

Cloud seeds of success

Everybody talks about the weather, now it looks like we can do something about it

Cloud seeding operations in the UAE. Courtesy National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology
Cloud seeding operations in the UAE. Courtesy National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology

There is little doubt that the UAE has had some unusually wet weather over winter and early spring. Of course, rain is welcome in the desert – except, perhaps, when it comes with destructive storms and floods – and it would seem that we have technology to thank for this latest series of downpours.

Cloud seeding has been attempted around the world over many decades, with various levels of success. Here, it would seem, that the efforts of the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology are paying off, with record rainfall last month. For those of us who don’t understand how it works, there is, perhaps, a sense of something supernatural or even sinister about controlling the weather – as Prospero does in Shakespeare’s The Tempest to lure his enemies into his grasp.

But science often finds ways to make the magical real – and who’s going to complain about greater water security, green grass in our parks and the possibility of improved agricultural yields?