x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE weather: Falling temperatures and blowing dust and sand forecast

The national weather service predicts blowing sand and dust for inland areas and humidity up to 90 per cent.

A group of Chinese tourists shield themselves from the midday sun as they visit the Breakwater Corniche in Abu Dhabi. Silvia Razgova / The National
A group of Chinese tourists shield themselves from the midday sun as they visit the Breakwater Corniche in Abu Dhabi. Silvia Razgova / The National

ABU DHABI // Residents will have more relief from the recent sweltering heat this weekend, with Thursday’s cooler conditions forecast to continue.

The weather bureau says the drop of up to 7°C in many parts of the country is set to continue on Friday and Saturday as the north-westerly Shamal wind makes a welcome return, with cloudy, windy and hazy conditions.

“It will be slightly hazy on Friday, with clouds over eastern areas,” said a spokesman for the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology.

“The seas might not be suitable for swimming on Friday morning in some parts but it should be fine by the afternoon and on Saturday.

“The temperature is lower than last week because of the prevailing winds that will be present. There has been a decrease of 5°C to 7°C in many areas.”

But the bureau said the drop in temperatures could be accompanied by blowing dust and sand in inland areas, and increased humidity overnight and in the early morning in coastal areas.

Seas in the Arabian Gulf will be very rough, with moderate conditions in the Oman Sea.

Temperatures in coastal areas will reach highs of 38°C, and lows of 26°C. Inland regions will have highs of up to 45°C and mountain areas will have a maximum of 32°C.

Humidity in coastal parts of the country could reach as high as 70 per cent to 95 per cent.

Westerly to north-westerly winds across much of the country will average 30kph.

But the wind has been bad news for some.

“Since we have north-westerly winds coming in that will create a lot of waves,” said Tony Hajj of Xventures, a tour company that offers island and fishing trips from Abu Dhabi.

“We have had to cancel all our bookings for this weekend. The wind creates a lot of flow, so on the western coast, Abu Dhabi and Dubai it will be bad conditions on the water.

“There will be flat waters in Fujairah, but it won’t be so good here. We cancelled everything for Friday, all kinds of fishing and island trips.

“Saturday seems to be a bit better, but this is how it normally is at this time of year. These are the Shamal winds, as they are called in Arabic.”

The weather is good news for the UAE diving community in Fujairah, an area sheltered from north-westerly winds.

“The forecast is good for the weekend and we are fully booked,” said Jeff Catanjal, who runs a diving club at Sandy Beach Resort in Fujairah.

“It is really busy on Friday and Saturday, and from our experience it should be great for diving.”

Mr Catanjal has 20 divers booked for Friday morning and more expected later in the day. He said that the increased wind usually led to better temperatures.

“When it starts to reach maximum temperatures, the wind usually then comes and gets rid of the heat. It is a cycle, it gets warm, then the wind comes and the weather improves,” he said.

“The conditions in the sea will be very nice here in Fujairah, I think. It will be nice and water will be very clear and blue. There should be excellent visibility in the water.

“This is normal for this time of year. As summer comes we always see a lot of people coming to dive here. Now even kids are coming to dive around Snoopy Island.

“It is a little windy but it does not affect the sea conditions.”

ksinclair@thenational.ae