The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has started using drones to control the weather in Dubai to help combat water shortages resulting from the limited rainfall and the high temperatures the country endures annually. The drones do not create rain themselves; instead, they jump-start rain production via cloud seeding. Basically, they zap clouds with an electric charge, which charges the water droplets inside. Engineered by the University of Reading, the rain-controlling drones are among the UAE’s nine different rain-enhancement projects that it has invested $15 million towards.

Zoom Out: The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) has conducted 126 instances of cloud seeding since the beginning of 2021. Some experts believe that it is not a good idea to interfere in natural weather patterns, arguing that the technique could result in dangerous flooding. NCM disagrees, however, underlining that they only enhance the amount of rain and avoid clouds that pose a danger to the aircraft. So far, the method has successfully created rain over Dubai.

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