What caused the storm in Dubai?

STORY: A rare and epic rainstorm pounded the United Arab Emirates on April 16.

The rains were the heaviest experienced by the Gulf state in the 75 years that records have been kept.

Grounded flights, leaks in homes, knocked out power, the storm brought much of the country to a standstill and caused significant damage.

"The water level just kept rising, it was coming out of our drainage basically."

"It was absolutely horrendous, it's the worst I've ever seen it in Dubai."

Rainfall is rare in the UAE and elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, that is typically known for its dry desert climate.

So what caused this unusual storm?

Questions were raised whether cloud seeding could have caused the heavy rains.

It's a process in which chemicals are implanted into clouds to increase rainfall in an environment where water is scarce.

The UAE, which is located in one of the hottest and driest regions on earth, frequently conducts cloud seeding to increase precipitation.

But on this occasion, the UAE's meteorology agency told Reuters there were no such operations before the storm.

Experts say the huge rainfall was instead likely due to a normal weather system that was intensified by climate change.

Esraa Alnaqbi is a senior forecaster at the UAE government's National Center of Meteorology.

"It's possible that climate change has an effect, whether direct or indirect."

Alnaqbi says that a low pressure system in the upper atmosphere, coupled with low pressure at the surface acted like a pressure "squeeze" on the air.

That squeeze created the conditions for the powerful thunderstorm.

She added that the abnormal weather is not unexpected in April.

"During the month of April it is common for such events to happen, because there are rapid changes in pressure patterns which can lead to extreme weather conditions or rare weather events."

Climate scientists say that rising global temperatures are leading to more extreme weather events around the world, including intense rainfall.

Climate scientist Colleen Golja says the Dubai storm is an example of that.

"It's likely that the storm was kind of supercharged by climate change because there's just more moisture available in the air for any storm system to then precipitate out."