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Dubai's Standstill: Unraveling the Cause of the Storm

Photo : Reuters

Dubai and Oman were hit by a storm this week, resulting in record-breaking rainfall that led to severe flooding, traffic congestion, and fatalities. Oman experienced at least 20 casualties due to the deluge, while one person was reported dead in the UAE. The storm originated in Oman on Sunday and struck the UAE on Tuesday, causing power outages and disrupting air travel.

The UAE encountered unprecedented rainfall, with Al Ain registering a record 254 millimeters (10 inches) within a 24-hour period, the highest since records began in 1949. The region, known for its arid climate, typically sees minimal rainfall, and its infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle such downpours.

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Amid the chaos, speculation arose regarding cloud seeding, a process frequently undertaken by the UAE to induce rainfall. However, the country's meteorological agency denied conducting any such operations before the storm.

Experts attributed the extreme weather to a combination of factors, including a low-pressure system in the upper atmosphere and climate change. Esraa Alnaqbi, a senior forecaster, explained that the atmospheric pressure dynamics, exacerbated by global warming, created conditions conducive to intense thunderstorms.

Climate scientists emphasized the link between rising global temperatures and the increase in extreme weather events. They noted that warmer air can hold more moisture, resulting in heavier rainfall. Gabi Hegerl, a climatologist, warned that such extreme rainfall events are likely to worsen globally due to climate change.

Regarding cloud seeding, experts clarified that it cannot generate clouds from nothing but rather accelerates the condensation process of existing moisture in the atmosphere. They emphasized that the warmer atmosphere, fueled by global warming, enhances evaporation rates and moisture capacity, contributing to intense rainfall events.

In conclusion, the unprecedented storm in Dubai and Oman underscored the growing impact of climate change on weather patterns, highlighting the urgent need for adaptation and mitigation strategies.

April 18, 2024 11:59 a.m. 3308

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