What is cloud seeding?… See how it aids rain or prevents extreme weather

 What is cloud seeding?… See how it aids rain or prevents extreme weather

Media reports have suggested that cloud seeding may have played a role in the unprecedented rainfall and flooding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Let’s tell what cloud seeding entails, its applications, and whether it might have exacerbated the flooding situation.

What is cloud seeding?

In the intricate dance of weather manipulation, clouds are encouraged to unite their minuscule water vapor and ice crystals into weightier drops or pellets, culminating in the gentle descent of rain or snow. 

This choreography often employs the dispersal of particles like silver iodide or common table salt, propelled by specialized flares aboard aircraft or launched via projectiles like rockets, cannons, or missiles. 

Notably, the U.A.E. has also used drones to zap clouds with electric charges for cloud seeding.

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Cloud seeding has been around since the 1940s. It’s been used in dozens of countries, including Canada. Despite that, interestingly, it was only recently that scientists have been able to prove it works by distinguishing between natural and induced rain or snow.

What is it used for?

Cloud seeding is often used in combating droughts, countries like the U.A.E. employ it to replenish groundwater. In the U.S., it’s used for combating wildfires, while Canada uses it to mitigate hail damage by converting moisture in clouds to rain or snow, averting hail formation.

How cloud seeding can aids rain or prevents extreme weather:

In aiding rain, cloud seeding introduces particles, like silver iodide or potassium iodide, into clouds, which provide nucleation sites for water droplets to form around. 

This process can enhance rainfall in areas experiencing drought or water scarcity by encouraging cloud condensation and precipitation. 

However, in preventing extreme weather, cloud seeding could potentially be used to mitigate hailstorms by inducing smaller, more manageable hailstones or by causing precipitation to fall before reaching the ground, thus reducing the size of hailstones. 

However, the effectiveness of cloud seeding in preventing extreme weather events like hurricanes or tornadoes is uncertain and controversial, as these phenomena are influenced by complex atmospheric dynamics.

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