Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 8 August 2020

More rain to sweep across Northern Emirates – and Dubai could be hit too

More than 53mm of water fell at Fujairah Port on Saturday as unstable weather heralds approach of winter

An overflowing wadi in Ras Al Khaimah. The Northern Emirates bore the brunt of the weekend's weather. Courtesy Storm Centre. 
An overflowing wadi in Ras Al Khaimah. The Northern Emirates bore the brunt of the weekend's weather. Courtesy Storm Centre. 

Forecasters are expecting more downpours across the UAE as a period of "unstable weather" heralds the approach of winter.

The National Centre of Meteorology on Sunday said that Dubai could be hit by the rain from the low-pressure weather systems circulating around the country.

It comes as extreme weather – torrential downpours, dust devils and lightning – wreaked havoc across the country at the weekend.

The Northern Emirates bore the brunt of the weather, with rain lashing Fujairah, Dibba and Ras Al Khaimah, sending torrents of water through the streets.

More than 53 millimetres of water fell at Fujairah Port on Saturday, while 48mm was recorded at the airport. Gauges in Khor Fakkan, Masafi and Dhadnah also recorded double-digit rainfall.

“We had heavy rain on Friday and Saturday,” said an NCM forecaster. “We expect this to continue into Monday.”

Videos posted online showed waters raging through wadis, cars marooned by flash floods and even the sudden appearance of waterfalls.

But while the events may seem pretty extreme, forecasters say such unstable conditions are typical for this time of year as the country transitions into winter.

“This is common every October,” said the forecaster. “We had 10 days of rain at the same time last year.

“It is a transition period to the winter when the atmosphere is starting to change. Some days are stable but some are bad. It is unpredictable and low-pressure systems can sweep in from both the east and from the west.”

One weather phenomenon captured by the bureau at the weekend was the dust devil. These are part of the whirlwind family and are caused when hot air rising from the Earth's surface meets cooler air around it. As the hot air rises, it forms a vortex, pulling in more hot air until a spinning column is formed.

While dust devils can happen throughout the year, the bureau warned people to be on their guard over the next few days with rain, 45 kilometre-per-hour winds, dust clouds and rough conditions in the Arabian Gulf forecast.

In the first half of the year, scores of the country's residents commented on what they considered a bad winter full of cloudy skies and downpours.

What will happen over the next few months is anyone’s guess but wet winters are the norm, not the exception over the longer term.

So much rain fell in 1982, for example, that parts of Tourist Club in Abu Dhabi were called the “Lake District”.

“The unstable weather will be with us for a few days, bringing convective clouds,” said the forecaster. “Especially in the east and north of the UAE.”

Updated: October 6, 2019 03:58 PM



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