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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Abu Dhabi Police issues wet weather warnings for motorists

Rain, strong winds and clouds are expected all weekend until Monday

Motorists are urged to be ready for heavy downpours in the UAE over the weekend. Liz Claus / The National
Motorists are urged to be ready for heavy downpours in the UAE over the weekend. Liz Claus / The National

Abu Dhabi Police issued a warning on Thursday advising motorists to drive carefully in the rain as the UAE braces for heavy downpours this weekend.

Motorists are urged to check their vehicle headlights, wipers and brakes to ensure their safety during unstable weather conditions which are expected to affect the country between Friday and Monday

Brigadier Khalifa Al Khaili, Director of the Traffic and Patrols Department at the Abu Dhabi Police, called for safe driving in rainy weather conditions and to follow safety rules and procedures, reduce speed and leave sufficient safety distance between vehicles.

“Drivers should avoid the sudden use of braking on wet ground and use them gradually to avoid slippage. Use wipers and car lights for better vision during poor visibility conditions,” said Brigadier Al Khaili.

Police are warning UAE's motorists to drive with caution over the weekend. Victor Besa / The National
Police are warning UAE's motorists to drive with caution over the weekend. Victor Besa / The National

He also urged drivers who experience minor traffic accidents or mechanical breakdowns during the rain to move their vehicles to the nearest safe location to keep them safe and ensure smooth traffic flow.

“Leaving vehicles on the road after a technical problem or after a minor accident in a rainy weather will obstruct the traffic flow, cause accidents and road closures,” he said.

Brigadier Al Khaili warned young motorists of taking advantage of the rainy weather to carry out dangerous car stunts which could endanger their lives and lives of others.

Rain has caused hundreds of accidents and tailbacks across the country in the past. In February one person died and several others were injured on Abu Dhabi's roads during a storm.

Unstable weather is expected to hit the UAE on Friday, with downpours as well as fog expected to result in poor driving conditions through to Monday. Rough seas are also expected due to strong winds.

According to the National Centre of Meteorology, clouds will increase gradually over scattered areas, bringing in rain especially over the sea, the northern and eastern areas as well as the islands.

"This weather is normal in this period and the same situation happened last year at this time," said a spokesperson at the centre.

"There is low pressure coming from the south-west of the UAE from the Red Sea Trough in the surface layer and, in the upper layer, also known as the upper atmosphere, there is low pressure from the north-west. That creates unstable weather over the area, including the UAE, and the north and east of Saudi Arabia."

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Poor weather conditions will likely appear first in northern and eastern part of the UAE followed by the rest of the country on Saturday and Sunday.

"The trough in the upper atmosphere will be deeper so the cold air mass will cover the whole country, with rain, convective clouds and a rough sea," he said. "Temperatures will also drop by 2C to 4C on Sunday and Monday."

He advised motorists to drive with take caution as visibility is expected to drop by around 2,000 metres internally.

"The rain will also create poor visibility, especially in the north and east part of the UAE," he said. "Fishermen should not go out to sea and beach-goers should avoid the beach this weekend as it won't be very safe."

A weather warning was also issued by Three60 Communities Management, the residents’ association on the Palm Jumeirah, which manages two Shoreline buildings in the area.

Residents were told to shut their windows tight and remove all items from their balconies as strong winds and rain are predicted from Friday to Monday.

They were also told to stay away from areas that are prone to lightning.