x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Forecasters issue dust storm alert

South-westerly winds will reduce temperatures and bring rough seas and hazy skies from about noon tomorrow, said a forecaster.

ABU DHABI // Drivers are advised to take care as dust storms from southern Iraq blanket the country this weekend and early next week.

South-westerly winds will reduce temperatures and bring rough seas and hazy skies from about noon tomorrow, said a forecaster from the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology.

"There's a big chance that this wind will transport the dust from the south of Iraq toward the country and disturb the sand over the interior region, and the west specifically," the forecaster said.

Conditions are expected to be worse than last weekend.

"The haze and dust will continue for two or three days after Saturday," said the forecaster.

"We would like to advise motorists to take precautions due to the drop in visibility."

Conditions at sea will worsen from tonight. Coastal winds are expected to reach up to 55kph and offshore waves will be between 1.8 and three metres tomorrow. Fishermen and boat owners are advised not to go to sea between tomorrow and Monday.

"On Sunday it will cover the whole country," said the forecaster.

Al Gharbia will be most affected, especially Ruwais, Sila and the Ghweifat border.

The temperature will rise next Thursday and Friday to between 34°C and 42°C on the coast, and 43°C to 47°C in the interior. It is expected to drop by between 4°C and 6°C along the coast tomorrow.

Humidity will increase on Thursday night and early Friday morning. It will reach a maximum of 95 per cent on the coast on Thursday.

Thursday's coastal temperatures will hit a high of 38°C and a low of 26°C, while in the interior they will range between 21°C and 44°C. Mountain regions will have a high of up to 34°C and lows of 22°C.

But tomorrow's Paddle for the Planet global relay event at the Kite Beach in Umm Suqeim will go "full-steam ahead", said organisers.

"It's quite protected where we are," said Carl de Villiers, the owner of Surf Shop Dubai.

"We do all of our sports in the sea no matter what the conditions are.

"If there's a little wind it's just going to cool us down. If there was no wind we'd be baking out there."

azacharias@thenational.ae