King Salman calls for rain prayers on Thursday

The kingdom has seen heavy rain recently

King Salman calls for rain prayers on Thursday. SPa
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman called for rain-seeking Istisqa prayers to be performed all over the kingdom on Thursday, the Royal Court said on Monday.

The court said the performance of the prayers is sunnah (an action of the Prophet Mohammed) to bless the nation with rain and mercy.

Last week heavy rain and hail was seen in Makkah, Hail, Madinah, the Eastern Province and the Northern Border Region, Saudi Civil Defence said. The regions could see torrential rain this week.

Tabuk, Al Jouf and parts of Makkah will see less severe rain.

The civil defence called for caution and advised residents to avoid places where the rain is particularly heavy.

Saudi Arabia launched a cloud-seeding programme in April, with the aim of increasing rainfall, which rarely exceeds 100 millimetres a year.

It sees a salt flare shot into a cloud to induce rain. Salt naturally attracts water, the water particles then collide with others, get bigger and hopefully fall as rain.

Ayman Ghulam, CEO of the National Centre of Meteorology and the General Supervisor of the Cloud Seeding Programme, said the rain enhancement programme started this year in Riyadh, Hail and Qassim, and moved in summer to Abha.

The programme has seen positive results from 400 flights, the centre said.

“We are currently working on a rain enhancement operation over Madinah, the results of which were positive,” Mr Ghulam said.

The initiative was announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Middle East Green Summit.

Initial studies, which began in 2004, concluded that the clouds of the south-western region were suitable for seeding.

Updated: November 14, 2022, 12:15 PM