Saudi Arabia’s first cloud seeding mission launched over three cities

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Saudi Arabia has launched the first phase of the cloud seeding program in areas above the capital Riyadh, al-Qassim and Hail, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The operating room for the program was launched on Tuesday at the headquarters of the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) in Riyadh, SPA reported citing the CEO of NCM and supervisor of the cloud seeding program, Dr. Ayman Ghulam.

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The team of international experts and researchers will monitor the progression of the program around the clock and issue periodic reports, according to SPA.

The current rate of rainfall in Saudi Arabia does not cross 100 millimeters annually, making it one of the driest countries in the world, according to various reports.

Ghulam also said that the cloud seeding program is one of the “promising ways” of maintaining water balance, in a safe, flexible and cost-effective manner.

Specialized flight with cloud seeding tools in Saudi Arabia. (Twitter)
Specialized flight with cloud seeding tools in Saudi Arabia. (Twitter)

Phase two of the program will see cloud seeding over Asir, al-Baha, and Taif.

The cloud seeding program is part of the larger Middle East Green Initiative announced in October 2021 by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The initiative is expected to reduce carbon emissions, secure the county’s water sources and minimize desertification.

Similar technology is being used by neighboring United Arab Emirates which has seen intermittent rainfall round-year, outside the expected season.

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