Martinstown in Scotland. England's Lake District. Honister Pass in Cumbria. The Welsh village of Eglwyswrw. All places that get a lot of rain due to one unifying factor: hills.
When winds carrying moisture-laden air run into large hills or mountains, their ability to hold water vapour drops significantly, forming huge clouds and ruining the barbecues of all in the area. It's a geological/meteorological relationship that's caught the imagination of the United Arab Emirates (UAE): build a massive man-made hill, and it could bring more rainfall to the desert country.
ArabianBusiness.com has word that experts from the US-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research are working with the UAE to develop a "detailed modelling study" on building a big rain-making hill.
"What we are looking at is basically evaluating the effects on weather through the type of mountain, how high it should be and how the slopes should be," said lead researcher Roelof Bruintjes. "We will have a report of the first phase this summer as an initial step."
It's hoped that a series of hills in the UAE would help air to rise, creating clouds that could then be seeded in order to increase rainfall in certain parts of the desert nation.
In the understatement to end all understatements, Bruintjes also added: "Building a mountain is not a simple thing" - although in a nation that builds 828-metre skyscrapers just for lols, isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. "We are still busy finalising assimilation, so we are doing a spread of all kinds of heights, widths and locations [as we simultaneously] look at the local climatology."
A location for any rain hills is yet to be decided, and the UAE government is yet to weigh up if the costs of the project.
Just a thought, but if in future years the UK wants to reduce rainfall to encourage more sun-hunting tourists, perhaps we should just bulldoze all our hills?
No? Yeah, best not...