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UAE to enhance rainfall using AI model for cloud seeding

Algorithms can combine satellite and radar data to measure precipitation to predict the best time and place for cloud seeding.

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The Middle East will be the worst hit by climate change as water scarcity is expected to increase by 15% in the region. To ensure a steady water supply, the UAE has been using drones that pass electric currents through clouds to make it rain.

Now, to get better results from such initiatives, the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), through the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), will deploy artificial intelligence (AI) to achieve enhanced precipitation forecasts. The project is led by Dr Luca Del Monache, deputy director at the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes. The algorithms will be used to measure precipitation in the environment to tell if there’s enough humidity for cloud seeding operations to be successful.

AI will process satellite observations, ground-based weather information, rain gauges, and numerical predictions to determine the best time and place for cloud seeding. The Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes has also worked on using nanotech for water condensation and droplet formation, and cloud electrical properties analysis, among others. The data from satellites and radar will be combined to generate predictions about precipitation for up to six hours.

The prototype of the AI-backed prediction model will be used at the NCM in Abu Dhabi. UAE’s research program for rain enhancement has evolved into a cutting-edge scientific research project backed by investigation and the use of new tech for climate action.

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