Saudi Arabia launches first phase of cloud-seeding operations

al foah saudi arabia april 2022

The first phase of the effort to artificially increase rainfall over Saudi Arabia has started this week in Riyadh, Qassim and Hail.

Saudi Arabia authorities approved the operation in an effort to increase the amount of rainfall in the Kingdom, which currently receives less than 100 mm (3.9 inches) of rain, making it one of the driest countries in the world.1

The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) said that its operations room opened on Monday, April 25 at the center’s headquarters in Riyadh and the first flights took place in the region surrounding the capital.

NCM said they achieved their goals in terms of the results and timing of the seeding operations, adding that they will issue periodic updates on progress.

NCM’s CEO, Ayman Ghulam, said work will continue around the clock in the operations room, which uses the most advanced meteorological equipment and techniques and is staffed by international cloud-seeding experts and technical and logistical support workers.

Ghulam added they are using environmentally friendly materials, to stimulate precipitation in targeted areas.

The cloud-seeding operation is part of the Middle East Green Initiative Summit announced in October 2021.2

This is the first phase of the operation, phase two will include Asir, Al-Baha and Taif regions.

According to Al-Arabiya, similar technology is being used in the United Arab Emirates.

Reference:

1 Cloud-seeding operation begins in skies over Saudi Arabia – Arab News – April 27, 2022

2 Saudi Arabia’s first could seeding mission launched over three cities – AlArabya News – April 27, 2022

Featured image credit: NCM

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