x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Weather to stabilise from Thursday

Cold temperatures and windy conditions will ease toward the end of the week.

Sandstorms hit Abu Dhabi for the second day yesterday.
Sandstorms hit Abu Dhabi for the second day yesterday.

The bad news is, there’s another day of wind, cloud and cold to come. The good news is, there’s only one more day of wind, cloud and cold to come.

“Starting on Thursday, the weather will clear and stabilise,” a forecaster at the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology in Abu Dhabi said yesterday.

The centre also dismissed reports of a new storm, and said the existing dust storm would gradually subside over the next two days.

“With the end of the sandstorm, we expect temperatures to rise to between 32°C and 34°C along the coasts, and 36°C to 38°C in the interior,” the forecaster said.

Meanwhile, police warned drivers to use caution in poor visibility from dust and sandstorms.

The visibility level today will range between 1,000 metres and 3,000 metres, and is expected to improve gradually in time for the weekend.

Police are reminding drivers to use hazard lights in low visibility, to drive slowly and to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

Speeding and reduced visibility from sandstorms contributed to accidents that killed three people on the roads in Sharjah in the past few days.

“We have made appeals to all motorists to slow down and take extra caution while on the roads,” said Capt Meshal Mohammed bin Khadim, director of accident investigations at Sharjah Traffic Department.

“On some highways, motorists have to drive slower than even the displayed speed limits because of the strong winds blowing a lot of sand on the roads.”

Sultan Al Mualla, the director general of Sharjah Municipality, has asked motorists to call the municipality’s free number, 933, to report roads where heaps of sand had accumulated so that workers could remove them.

Other parts of the Gulf including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have been badly affected by sandstorms this week. The powerful “Gulf storm” disrupted air traffic in Yemen, closed schools in Saudi Arabia and sent hundreds of people across the region to hospitals with respiratory problems.

The meteorology centre in Abu Dhabi urged anyone suffering from respiratory problems to avoid going outside and being exposed to dust. The centre cautioned swimmers, fishermen and sailors about rough conditions in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, with the dust storm moving towards the southern areas of the country.

It may feel particularly cold and turbulent at the moment, but unstable weather at this time of year is expected.

“This always happens around this time of the year as we move from the cold season to the hot season,” the forecaster said.

“By Thursday, you can hit the sea and it will be safe, but not before.”