National Center of Meteorology Hosts Webinar Series Titled ‘Rain Enhancement Hub’

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Virtual sessions to highlight research and practical aspects of rain enhancement research and weather modification

Abu Dhabi, UAE:The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) today unveiled a series of webinars under the theme “Rain Enhancement Hub” to highlight the various research and practical aspects of rain enhancement science and weather modification.

Organized by the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), the virtual sessions draw the participation of many prominent local and international scientists, researchers, experts and stakeholders in rain enhancement research and weather modification.

In hosting this webinar series, NCM aims to provide an interactive virtual platform to bring together the members of research community to share knowledge and expertise in rain enhancement science and weather modification and educate the public about their crucial role in achieving global water security.

His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of WMO, said: “At a time the world is facing an unprecedented crisis due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this webinar series assumes special significance for the advancement of rain enhancement science. As an important research field, rain enhancement has come a long way in addressing global water stress and meeting the surging demand for this vital resource. We are confident that the topics covered by these sessions will be an important reference for various stakeholders. Furthermore, they support the objectives of the program in building an integrated global research community to tackle various topics related to rain enhancement, especially in drought-prone areas across the globe.”

For her part, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of UAEREP, said: “This webinar series will enable the members of global rain enhancement and weather modification research community to share expertise and knowledge. Furthermore, it will allow them to engage with members of community who are interested in this emerging research field and educate them about its significance as well as the UAE’s achievements as a pioneer in rain enhancement research. “

Al Mazrouei added: “UAEREP has established itself as a leading hub for international research and development efforts in rain enhancement science. The strong participation of leading local and international experts and scientists in these virtual sessions will make it an effective platform to highlight the importance of the scientific domain and promote the wide spread adoption of rain enhancement technologies as an effective and sustainable tool to address global water scarcity.”

The first session in the virtual series included a presentation by Dr. Deon Terblanche, Weather and Climate Consultant at World Bank and former Director of Research at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), giving a presentation on the history of hygroscopic flare seeding for rain enhancement followed by a presentation by Sufian Farrah, meteorologist and cloud seeding expert at NCM, who highlighted the UAE’s achievements in rain enhancement through the efforts of NCM, the entity mandated to manage the UAEREP.

Since the UAE began cloud seeding operations in 1990, it has made significant contributions to the advancement of rain enhancement research through NCM’s collaboration with several leading international organizations including the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Colorado, USA, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Today, the country boasts a wide network of more than 95 interconnected meteorological stations, an integrated radar system, four specialized aircraft to carry out cloud seeding operations, and the Emirates Weather Enhancement Factory, the region’s first facility to produce high-quality hygroscopic salt flares for use in cloud-seeding operations.

The webinar also included a presentation by Noor Al Shamsi, a weather forecaster at NCM and a meteorology graduate from Abu Dhabi Polytechnic University, who outlined the research and development efforts of NCM in rain enhancement domain. Al Shamsi also highlighted the key research projects undertaken by NCM’s research team to advance the Center’s cloud seeding capabilities and augment precipitation through identifying seedable clouds to ensure the best results from its seeding operations.

The ‘Rain Enhancement Hub’ webinar series covers several key topics related to rain enhancement science and weather modification, including “Rainfall Trends in the United Arab Emirates/Arabian Peninsula”, “Weather Models”, “Cloud Seeding in the US”, among others.