Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day. Hold that thought. “Bring on the rain,” say researchers in England about the arid United Arab Emirates (UAE). Cloud-zapping scientists are taking meteorology into their own hands in an attempt to bring rain to the wealthy and populous UAE city of Dubai. They have figured out how to create rainfall using drones that fly into the clouds.
It’s part of an ongoing effort to increase rainfall in the desert-dry country. The UAE released video footage of heavy downpours, signifying that the new “fake” rain technology called “cloud seeding” worked.
A team of scientists with the University of Reading in England worked to make the successful “unnatural” rainstorms. The scientists built four drones with six and a half-foot-wingspans. Launched from a catapult, the drones can fly for about 40 minutes, according to CNN. In the air, drone sensors measure temperature, humidity, and the electrical charge in a cloud. This information tells researchers which clouds the drones need to zap.
“What we are trying to do is make the droplets inside the clouds big enough so that when they fall out of the cloud, they survive down to the surface,” project meteorologist and researcher Keri Nicoll tells CNN. When the drones zap a cloud with electricity, tiny droplets of water vapor clump together, forming raindrops. Those drops fall to the ground instead of evaporating in the heat of midair. A recent downpour in Ras al Khaimah in the northern part of the UAE is evidence that the team’s efforts were a success. That welcome rain was man-made.
Over the years, scientists have brainstormed different ways to bring desperately needed water to the country. In 2016, the Washington Post reported that government officials considered building a mountain to create rainfall. Other ideas were to build a pipeline from nearby Pakistan, or float icebergs down from the Arctic or up from the Antarctic. For now, cloud-zapping drones are the potential win for Dubai’s water woes.
We know who controls all weather patterns, bringing nourishing water to the Earth in perfect timing. Job 36:27-28 says, “For He draws up the drops of water; they distill His mist in rain, which the skies pour down and drop on mankind abundantly.”