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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Dusty days to continue - and rain could be on the way too

Dust is being carried on winds, while rain could hit eastern parts from Monday

Pakistani delivery truck drivers take a break by the sea on a dusty day in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National
Pakistani delivery truck drivers take a break by the sea on a dusty day in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National

Dust clouds have rolled across the UAE, enveloping cities, towns and villages in a suffocating grey shroud.

The National Centre of Meteorology on Sunday warned of poor visibility across many of the country's roads.

Forecasters also predicted that a change in the weather conditions on Monday could bring rain to the eastern parts of the country.

Meanwhile, worst hit from the dust, on Sunday, are Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the eastern parts of the UAE, with the conditions being pushed up on southerly winds from Yemen and Oman.

The dust clouds originated in Saudi Arabia a few days ago. But the wind direction then changed. Much of the western Arabian Peninsula is now clear but the UAE is still being hit because of these winds.

“It could continue until Monday afternoon, especially in the central and eastern parts of the UAE," a forecaster said.

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The weather bureau said these types of dust clouds were common during the summer.

“The land is very dry and the dust is very, very fine and can be lifted easily by the wind and stay in the air,” the bureau said. “Therefore it gets suspended and moves from place to place according to the flow of the wind. It can happen in the winter but ground is not as dry.”

The change is expected this afternoon as the wind swings from the east. The air flow could pick up some activity from monsoon clouds coming from India. The clouds also being rain to southern Oman.

The phenomenon, known as khareef, brings green to the desert around the Omani city of Salalah during summer.

“Over the east we expect some clouds too, but chances for rain will increase on Monday and Tuesday over southern and eastern parts,” the bureau said.

The dusty weather can also lead to flare ups of allergies. Allergic rhinitis, for example, is often misdiagnosed as a common cold but in some cases can lead to severe reactions such as difficulty in breathing. People are urged to consult their doctors, and decrease their exposure to the conditions.

Maximum temperatures on Sunday could hit 49°C with lows of 24°C expected in the mountains. Humidity of 80 per cent could hit coastal areas.