Dubai Is Using Drones to Shock Clouds With Electricity to Make Rain in Order to Beat the Heat: Report
The drones are equipped with sensors that measure temperature, humidity and electrical charge within a cloud, which lets the researchers know when and where they need to send the electric zaps to cause the rain to fall, the Washington Post reported.
The United Arab Emirates city of Dubai is trying to beat the extreme heat in the Middle Eastern city by sending drones up to the sky to shock clouds with electricity in order to make it rain, according to the Washington Post.
Meteorologists in the city shared the rainstorm on Instagram, which surprised many to see that much water falling from the sky.
It normally rains up to four inches a year in the city, according to Complex, and temperatures can reach as high as 115 degrees.
The rainfall is also not just a way to cool down the area, but will also make more fresh water available, according to CNN.
By sending drones up in the sky to zap the air, it jolts a charge in the clouds, allowing rain to fall, according to The Washington Post. The drones are equipped with sensors that measure temperature, humidity and electrical charge within a cloud, which lets the researchers know when and where they need to send the electric zaps to cause the rain to fall, the Washington Post reported.
The idea was first proposed by England’s University of Reading in 2017, according to CNN.
The university was given $1.5 million for use over three years from the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, which has invested in at least nine different research projects over the past five years, according to the Washington Post.
The theory was first tested in Dubai this week, and worked.
"There's been a lot of speculation about what charge might do to cloud droplets, but there's been very little practical and detailed investigation," Keri Nicoll, one of the core investigators on the project, told CNN.
It gets so hot in Dubai that the rain evaporates by the time it hits the ground, according to Complex. So, one of the key objectives in Nicoll’s team’s work was to make the raindrops large enough to make it to the ground.
“What we are trying to do is to make the droplets inside the clouds big enough so that when they fall out of the cloud, they survive down to the surface,” Nicoll told CNN.
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