Torrential rainfall breaks records, causes major floods in Dubai

A year and a half’s rainfall over a span of a few hours wreaked havoc in the United Arab Emirates and its neighboring country Oman. Such was the storm’s intensity that hit Oman and subsequently the United Arab Emirates on 18th April. Dubai recorded the highest rainfall, and meteorologists are calling it a historic weather event. Dubai received 5.59 inches of rain. Oman received around 9 inches of rain. Amidst multiple speculations, some sources suggested that the heavy rainfall is due to cloud seeding methods going haywire.

Cloud seeding is a method in which tiny ice particles called nuclei are introduced inside clouds. These nuclei act as a foundation that allows snowflakes to grow inside the clouds. This enhances the chances of rainfall and is mainly used in arid regions. It isn’t unlikely to question this method for the downpour, but according to Ryan Maue, former chief scientist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dubai would have had water all year if cloud seeding could produce such heavy rainfall. Most experts have debunked this theory.

A better explanation is at hand: climate change. Excessively warm water in the seas around Dubai and warm air above combined to increase the evaporation rates and the clouds’ water-holding capacity. The main culprit was a slow-moving storm that carried tropical moisture to the Middle East. Tropical storms are not rare in the Middle East, but global warming boosted the rainfall. This event should be a wake-up call for humans.

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