Saudi Arabia has started a cloud seeding operation over three cities.

Saudi Arabia has started a cloud seeding operation over three cities. ...

Saudi Arabia, the world''s largest oil equities producer, is switching to cloud-seeding to increase rainfall.

According to Arab News, the country began the first phase of its cloud-seeding operations in areas above the capital, Riyadh, Al-Qassim, and Hail.

The weather modification technique is being developed as part of a program to increase the country''s annual rainfall, which isn''t greater than 100 millimeters per year, by 10 to 20 percent.

How is cloud seeding done?

Cloud-seeding is a technique that involves introducing chemicals to clouds, like small silver iodide, to induce more rainfall from a cloud. This causes water droplets to congregate around them, and the water particles are clashing, causing more water to subside.

Saudi Arabia''s project is designed to reduce desertification as one of the world''s fastest developing countries, which is one of the country''s main goals, and is aimed at increasing the country''s vegetation and improving its adaptability to climate change.


Ayman Ghulam, director of the National Center of Meteorology and head of the cloud-seeding program, said the program''s operations room opened on Monday at the center''s headquarters in Riyadh, and the first flights were conducted in the capital''s vicinity, according to Gulf News. He said the results and timeliness of the seeding operations were met.

The program will monitor cloud formations across the country in order to determine the optimal locations for seeding efforts, which would utilize environmentally friendly materials to increase precipitation in specific areas.

According to Gluham, the cloud seeding program is one of the "promising ways" of maintaining water balance in a safe, adaptable, and cost-effective manner.

What are the negative effects of cloud seeding?

Many other countries are utilizing the same technology.

China is a third country that has used the cloud seeding technique extensively. In 2020, China announced that it will have a "developed weather modification system" that includes about 1.35 billion acres (5.5 million square kilometers) with artificial rainfall and 143 million acres (580,000 square km) with hail suppression.

Idaho Power, a private utility servicing over 500,000 people in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon, is a good example. Idaho Power has used cloud seeding to provide support for its hydroelectric power generation for over two decades.

However, not all scientists are confident and trust the technique, as the percentage of precipitation increase provided by cloud seeding is reportedly not very high, with the results being "mixed."

Countries around the world are being forced to adopt such techniques last summer as drones in order to combat rising heat. Last summer, the United Arab Emirates had to use drones to combat rising heat. The country used drones that fly into clouds and discharge electricity to combat rising rainfall in Dubai.

You may also like: