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Dr. Maria Noguer and Dr. Ben Lloyd-Hughes in Oman

IEA weather and climate experts, Dr. Maria Noguer and Dr. Ben Lloyd-Hughes, were recently in Muscat, Oman to present the results of a statistical analysis project examining the outcome of Oman’s national rainfall enhancement programme between 2019-2022 at a workshop organised by the National Rainfall Enhancement Centre.

The workshop was the culmination of a successful project undertaken on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries Wealth and Water Resources, Sultanate of Oman.

The analysis looked at different regions of the country where rainfall enhancement stations (RES) have been installed. The IEA team employed a two-step regression-based procedure to estimate the amount of rainfall attributed to RES operations, using a comprehensive dataset derived from raw meteorological observations and operational schedules, including RES and rainfall gauge networks, radiosonde profiles, DGMAN weather stations, and records of the operational status of the RES.

By analysing rainfall frequency, intensity, and distribution in both regions, we were able to provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of RES and their impact on precipitation levels in Oman. The investigation examined the implications of weather anomalies on the rainfall enhancement analysis and modelling, highlighting the challenges in determining the actual impact of RES on precipitation levels and discussing potential biases in the statistical models.

The findings of the investigation have the potential to contribute to the development of more effective rainfall enhancement strategies, inform decision-making regarding water resource management in arid and semi-arid regions and promote a better understanding of the complex interactions between meteorological factors and rainfall enhancement technologies.

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