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Failed experiment, global warming: where did the torrential rains that flooded Dubai come from ?

© Aleksandar Pasaric/Pexels

We know Dubai well for its eccentricities of all kinds, but much less for its rainy climate. Indeed, the city is located right in the Arabian desert and generally receives less than 100 mm of rain per year. On Tuesday, residents witnessed a near-apocalyptic scene. In 24 hours, 127 mm of rain submerged the city, locally reaching more than 250 mm in some areas. An extreme situation, raising the question of the real culprits behind this meteorological anomaly.

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Unprecedented chaos

As you can see in the images above, they speak for themselves: flooded roads, submerged airport, destroyed buildings, etc. And for good reason, it's the equivalent of two years of rain that fell in a single day.

A phenomenon caused by a series of ultraviolent storms, fueled by the unusually warm temperatures of the waters of the Persian Gulf. These storms of rare intensity were generated by a blocked depression, a low pressure system remaining stationary due to surrounding atmospheric conditions which prevent its normal movement.

In addition to this, a mass of cold air was blocked for several days by the wave movements of the jet stream, a “ powerful high altitude wind which can reinforce depressions on the ground in storms or accentuate the violence of thunderstorms » according to the definition of La Chaîne Météo. This depression stagnated, causing local weather conditions to intensify.

Currently, there are There is a scientific consensus around the fact that global warming causes an increase in the amount of rain during stormy episodes and in depressions. This event is a rather striking example of the effects of these disturbances. However, other hypotheses are emerging to explain this anomaly.

The Cloud Seeding Controversy

Cloud Seedingis a technique used in several regions of the world; including Dubai and the United Arab Emirates; in order to increase precipitation locally. Concretely, this results in the injection of various substances (sodium chloride, silver iodide and carbon dioxide) into the clouds to stimulate rainfall.

However, seeding is marred by inconsistent results, even if it is generally safe if done well. Some are still asking the question if the episode in Dubai might not be linked to a sowing attempt that went wrong. The government has not yet made an official statement on the issue. Even if this were the case, there is little chance that the emirate would comment on the matter, as it is not particularly renowned for its political and governmental transparency.

  • An extreme weather phenomenon hit Dubai on Tuesday, April 16.
  • Two years' worth of rain fell in 24 hours, causing chaos.
  • A phenomenon caused by a combination of specific local meteorological factors, although some are wondering about cloud seeding which may have degenerated.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116