Intense Hailstorms Hit UAE After Cloud Seeding Operations
Date: Monday, February 12, 2024
In an unexpected turn of events, heavy rains accompanied by lightning and intense hailstorms battered the city of Al Ain and various parts of the UAE on the morning of February 12, 2024. The unprecedented hail accumulation from this storm is being described as the most severe witnessed in Al Ain in the last four decades. Interestingly, these intense weather conditions occurred shortly after the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) conducted a series of cloud seeding flights.
Videos circulated by the UAE's National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) captured the astonishing sight of hailstones, some as large as golf balls, pelting Al Ain, Al Wothba region, Bani Yas in Abu Dhabi, and other regions across the country. Scenes of flooded streets and damaged vehicles further underscored the ferocity of the storm, leaving residents in Al Ain, who are accustomed to hail during inclement weather, taken aback by the magnitude of the phenomenon.
According to Gulf News, the NCM's cloud seeding division sprang into action over the weekend, deploying 14 specialized flights spanning two days to enhance rainfall throughout the nation. Their proactive measures bore fruit, as residents experienced rainy weather on February 11 and 12, accompanied by moderate to heavy rainfall, and even hail, across various parts of the country.
Dr. Ahmad Habib, senior meteorologist at NCM, elaborated on their efforts, stating, “We completed four flights on Monday, since midnight, and 14 cloud seeding flights, overall, since Sunday [February 11].” In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Dr. Habib shed light on the NCM's commitment to leveraging cloud seeding technology to mitigate drought and enhance precipitation in the region.