The monsoon-like downpour drenches a busy highway, causing difficult driving conditions for the flow of sport utility vehicles. Sudden waterfalls appear on the side of the road.
It would be a common sight in parts of Southeast Asia, but this is the United Arab Emirates, at the height of a summer heat wave that has seen temperatures regularly exceed 120 ° F.
And according to the UAE National Meteorology Center, precipitation was enhanced by cloud seeding operations to increase rainfall in the Gulf country.
On Sunday, the UAE’s national meteorological service released video images of the heavy downpours.
Its cloud seeding operations are part of an ongoing mission to generate precipitation in the Middle Eastern country, which has an average rainfall of just four inches.
Enhanced rain is created using drone technology that unleashes electrical charges into the clouds so that they clump together and form precipitation.
The National reported that heavy rains caused waterfalls to appear in the city of Ail Ain and made driving conditions dangerous.
In an effort to slow the subsidence of the country’s water table, the United Arab Emirates invested $ 15 million in nine different rain generation projects in 2017.
The current system used to change the electrical charge of clouds is being led by researchers at the University of Reading in England. Professor Maarten Ambaum, who worked on the project, told the BBC in March that the UAE has enough clouds to create conditions conducive to rain.
The project tries to make the water droplets merge and stick together when they receive an electrical pulse, “like dry hair on a comb.”
“When the drops merge and are large enough, they will fall like rain,” Professor Ambaum told the BBC.
Applying electrical discharges to clouds is preferred as it does not require the use of chemicals.