Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

Temperatures could hit 49C in the UAE, with more scorching weather on the way ​​​​​​

Intense temperatures are being caused by dry winds from the west, forecasters say

The heat is being caused by winds carrying dry heat from the southwest. Jeff Topping / The National
The heat is being caused by winds carrying dry heat from the southwest. Jeff Topping / The National

Temperatures could hit a scorching 49C in the UAE on Sunday, with forecasters warning the intense heat is here until Monday at the earliest.

It comes after parts of the UAE were seared by a sizzling 49.9C over the weekend.

Mezaira in the southwest and Sweihan, which is close to Al Ain, were among the places that endured the worst of the heat, forecasters said on Sunday.

The conditions are chiefly caused by southwest winds, carrying dry heat from the desert sands of southern Arabia across to the UAE.

“The temperature has been increasing in the UAE - particularly in the interior of the country - over the past few days,” a forecaster from the NCM said.

“This is a very hot wind and it will last until Monday night.”

The weather has already had tragic consequences in Dubai. A six-year-old boy died after being left on a bus on Saturday and medics were unable to save him.

Compounding the high temperatures is a spike in humidity which has suffocated coastal areas. Humidity - essentially the amount of water vapour in the air - reached a stifling 100 per cent in some parts on Sunday morning.

This means the air is effectively no longer able to absorb moisture - including even human sweat - disrupting the body’s cooling process.

The humidity is being caused by the warming of the seas, which increases evaporation, while hotter temperatures on the land means the air absorbs even more water.

The good news, however, is that UAE residents can expect some brief respite from the heat on Tuesday. North-westerly winds will usher in weather that is at least three to four degrees cooler. Gusts of up to 45kph are set to kick up dust clouds and churn the seas.

“Visibility will also become poor,” the forecaster said. “Especially over exposed areas.”

Across the country, preparations for the summer season are well underway. The midday break for workers came into force on June 15.

The UAE-wide rule ensures labourers who work outside rest from 12.30pm to 3pm every day until September 15.

Public schools, meanwhile, have already announced reduced hours until the term ends in July. Authorities have also urged people to stay indoors, where possible, during the hottest part of the day and stay hydrated.

The dry heat is affecting countries across the region. Iraq’s notoriously brutal summers have also arrived early and average daily temperatures this June stand at 48C - up from about 40C in previous years.

Only two months ago, talk of the UAE’s so-called bad weather - including rain and thunder - dominated conversations up and down the country.

One of the more unseasonal UAE winters of late featured rain, clouds, dust and lightning. Yet countless conversations in offices, social media and at home wondered when the bad weather would end. Now many are no doubt hoping for the heat to ease.

Updated: June 16, 2019 02:00 PM

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