In this post from LinkedIn there is a video of a bunch of rain fall, the post says,

Dubai is making it rain (artificially).

Scientists in the United Arab Emirates are using electrical charges from drones to zap clouds and manipulate the weather to force rainfall.

The electricity creates large raindrops that would have otherwise evaporated before they hit the ground in the desert climate. Dubai gets almost no rain in the summer and temperatures regularly reach 120 degrees.

It seems the source is this Independent article which says similar things. (article behind paywall, I can't read it myself).

I'm skeptical that such a technology could exist even. Is there any air in a desert regardless of altitude that contains enough moisture to cause a "monsoon-like downpour" (actual wording that I can see in the Independent article). Can drones carry batteries of sufficient voltage to make it rain like that? Does this kind of technology exist out of Dubai at all?

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    The general technique of cloud seeding isn't new, though it sounds like this is less seeding clouds and more ... encouraging them to coalesce into raindrops. There's also a BBC article if you want to take a look. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 5:05
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    @fyrepenguin I'm guessing your point is that my title should have been explicit about the electric charge, because the question was explicit. I've updated the title. Yes, I'm excluding tried chemical methods. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 5:10
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    That and also providing a non-paywalled (as far as I can tell) source for you to read more about it. I wouldn't have known that the Independent article was paywalled (likely due to adblockers?) but you might get some more info from the BBC article. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 5:28
  • Related: "Is Dubai Creating Rain to Battle the Heat?", Snopes (2021-07-22).
    – Nat
    Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 6:07
  • A TASER produces 50,000 volts with a relatively tiny battery, so that part isn't shocking to hear.
    – eps
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 19:45

1 Answer 1


Yes. Some articles: one, two, three, four.

In essence, chemical cloud seeding uses something like salt or silver iodide as a nucleus. Water vapor collects around such particles, eventually growing to become a water droplet that falls as rain. These methods are proven to work (see the 2008 Beijing Olympics and royal weddings as two examples), however their reliability and the environmental impacts are debated.

Dubai/UAE has taken it a step further. Static electricity can attract all kinds of substances, most commonly seen with hair on a shirt or small pieces of plastic stuck to your palm. Dubai has clouds, but the rain doesn't fall often and usually evaporates before reaching the ground. Electrical charges are being used by the drones to force larger water droplets to form, which droplets then fall and actually reach the ground.

Video footage of the rain in UAE is making its way across social media and news articles (here, here, here). I was unable to find details from the scientists involved; unsurprising, since it was done for the first time (without chemicals) on a large scale just last week, plus I don't speak any of the languages the scientists are likely to publish in. I have seen some articles discussing pieces of the science involved, like this one.

As a final bit of 'evidence,' if you can call it that, my sister lives in Dubai and has seen some of the rainstorms. My siblings and I grew up in the western and midwestern parts of the USA, and we are familiar with thunderstorms. When I asked my sister about the storms, she said:

Oh yeah, they do it that way instead of shooting salt pellets from a plane. That way is so 2019.

It looks like a lightning storm.

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    This answer is problematic. Whilst we don't discourage personal testimony in support of references, on its own it doesn't fulfill our evidentiary requirements (I realize that you are correct to point out lack of such in English). Please refer to the help center regarding our standards. Welcome to skeptics. Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 15:55
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    @ARogueAnt. Agreed, the personal testimony was not meant to be the keystone of evidence. The earlier links all discuss using electrical signals to induce rainfall as a cloud seeding method. I suppose I should link more articles about this happening directly in Dubai; I'll edit the answer for that.
    – Taejang
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 19:40
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    This seems like a repeat of the claim. The question is "People are claiming this works. Is there any evidence?" and your answer is "Yes. people are claiming this works." Where is the empirical evidence? (I haven't been able to read the CNBCTV18 site - it is giving me an Access Denied error.)
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 7:24
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    @Oddthinking I'm confused by your comment. The articles cited are news organizations reporting that yes, this is a thing Dubai has done. They include video of the rain falling; excluding conspiracy theories and a desire to prove the video is real, what other evidence can I provide?
    – Taejang
    Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 13:12
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    @Taejang: The OP already knows that there are news organisations reporting it. So, we need to provide stronger evidence to confirm or refute it. CNBCTV18 is not stronger evidence than The Guardian. A peer-reviewed scientific paper showing the effectiveness would be excellent evidence.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 11:42

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