Dubai Hit with Major Flooding, “Cloud Seeding” Possibly to Blame

Dubai Hit with Major Flooding, “Cloud Seeding” Possibly to Blame

The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates was hit with severe rains and floods Wednesday, with many suggesting it was likely caused by “cloud seeding,” an advanced scientific technique where engineers create artificial clouds in order to cause much-needed rainfall for the desert region.

State-run news agency WAM said the rains were the heaviest on record for the Gulf nation. The rains also affected Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

Sources as mainstream as Bloomberg News suggest the deluge was inadvertently caused by the man-made clouds. The UAE has been practicing cloud seeding—where planes fly through the atmosphere dispensing substances like potassium chloride and natural salts—since at least 2002 to trigger rainfall and solve water insecurity. However, some experts say the city never invested in an adequate drainage system, nor does it have one by nature.

The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) of the UAE sent out seeding planes on Monday and Tuesday to seize an opportunity to trigger rainfall with naturally-formed convective clouds, according to scientist Ahmed Habib. But the NCM claims it seeded on Sunday and Monday. Dubai’s media office called the torrential downpours “rains of goodness” despite the floods.