x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

July thunderstorms in the UAE? It's not unusual, says the weatherman

The last thing anyone expected after days of high temperatures and humidity was today's thunderstorm.

Heavy rain and storms lashes down on the Dubai-Al Ain road.
Heavy rain and storms lashes down on the Dubai-Al Ain road.

DUBAI // The last thing anyone expected after days of high temperatures and humidity was today's thunderstorm.

Anyone, that is, but the weatherman.

"Thunderstorms are normal for this time of year, but it does usually keep to the higher elevation in the eastern part of the country," said a spokesman for the National Weather Service in Abu Dhabi.

"There was heavy rain [on Sunday] in the Al Showkah and Al Fili areas," he said. "We expected it to continue to Lusaili, Murgham, Umm Nahad and Al Awir, but strong winds pushed it further into the city."

Mariam Al Madani, a retired Emirati schoolteacher, said: "We heard a loud noise and at first thought it was some construction or a plane or something. Then we realised it was a thunderstorm. There was very light rain for about a minute - just enough to put a few drops on my car."

Mrs Al Madani said it wasn't the first time she'd seen rain in July.

"Back in 1995, there was a huge thunderstorm and we had heavy rain for a few days. Sadly, this time it was a lot of thunder and barely a drizzle."

Conditions are expected to continue for the next couple of days. The weather service said wind would pick up a lot of dust and cautioned drivers to take extra care on the roads.

malkhan@thenational.ae