Home Climate Dubai Floods: Did Cloud Seeding Worsen UAE’s Worst Flooding?

Dubai Floods: Did Cloud Seeding Worsen UAE’s Worst Flooding?

Heavy rains started in Dubai from Monday, April 15 but the desert city truly felt its impact on Tuesday as everything from roads, highways and even the airport were severely affected. A video of a Fly Dubai plane landing on an inundated tarmac was widely circulated on social media.

The heavy rainfall caused massive disruption both inside and outside the Dubai International Airport, which is one of the world’s busiest and a major international transit hub.

On Wednesday, Emirates announced suspension of check-in for all flights till midnight. Fly Dubai had already suspended flights leaving Dubai.

The Dubai International Airport has said it is trying to normalise operations at the earliest after flash floods forced many flights to be diverted from Dubai while airlines were impacted by displaced crew.

Incoming flights were diverted and passengers have been urged not to make their way to the airport without checking with the airlines first

Flight operations were suspended at the Dubai airport for at least 25 minutes on Tuesday amidst the heavy downpour.

Dubai received 142 mm of rainfall in 24 hours. That’s equal to the rainfall it gets over 1.5 years.

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An animation put out by the National Centre for Meteorology showed the extent of cloud formation seen over the skies of the UAE

At least one person was killed in Ras-al-Khaimah when the car he was in was caught in the flash floods.

The UAE govt media office called the flash floods an ‘exceptional’ climate event

High-end luxury cars were left stranded on flooded roads. Even malls saw their ceilings coming undone.

The government issued advisories after which schools stayed shut and most offices saw employees working from home.

A large storm system crossing the Arabian Peninsula and moving across the Gulf of Oman is the reason behind this heavy downpour. In Oman, at least 18 people have died in these floods.

According to a report in Bloomberg, the flooding is linked to active cloud seeding operations. The National Center of Meteorology in the UAE confirmed that seeding planes flew seven missions over two days, targeting suitable clouds to maximize rainfall. The UAE started cloud seeding in 2002 to deal with its water security problem but given the average rainfall the UAE sees in a year, drainage systems are not geared up for such volumes of water.