Dubai’s Historic Floods: Cloud Seeding Under Scrutiny

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is suffering from the effects of the heaviest rainfall recorded in 75 years, which has led to deadly flooding in urban areas. The city of Dubai reported more than the annual amount of rain in a single day. The oil-rich desert nation has long used cloud-seeding technology to induce rainfall.

Cloud seeding is a way to modify weather by dispersing tiny particles into clouds from aircraft. Scientists intend for water to condense around the particles, leading to the formation of droplets and then rainfall.

The corporate media’s rush to blame climate change for the disaster conveniently dismisses the impact of cloud seeding. Official accounts of the torrential rain have so far brought on confusion and public doubts. National Center of Meteorology (NCM) meteorologist Ahmed Habib initially confirmed multiple seeding flights before the storm. Soon thereafter, he retracted his statements without explanation. The NCM has since issued official statements that all recent seeding operations were “standard” and unrelated to the heavy storm.

Prominent liberal outlets and some scientists continue to oppose the cloud seeding theory, insisting that such techniques could not possibly generate the volume of water witnessed. Dr. Ryan Maue, a former chief scientist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, criticized the connection as unrealistic, stating, “You can’t create rain out of thin air per se and get 6 inches of water.”


Mainstream climate change advocates have argued the extreme weather in the UAE aligns with their models. Even though they claim it is not possible to lay the blame on cloud seeding — or any single cause — they show little skepticism about their rush to blame excess carbon for the flooding.

However, the counter-narrative finds support among those wary of the mainstream climate change narrative. They argue that dismissing the role of cloud seeding outright is premature, especially given the UAE’s aggressive pursuit of these technologies. Further, the official record remains unclear about the extent to which the government seeded clouds in the area just before the torrential rains.