x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

May heats up ahead of 'long summer'

Weather experts say temperatures were higher than average in May and warn heat and humidity will continue to rise.

Weather experts say temperatures were higher than average in May and warn that heat and humidity will continue to rise in June. "Temperatures for the month of May were not at an all-time high," said Dr SK Gupta, meteorologist at the Dubai Meteorological Office. "But they were much higher than the average temperature for May. We had temperatures we would normally not see until June. "The temperature in the next few days might drop a few degrees, but the index will be high because the humidity will be high. The summer has just started, and we have a long, long summer in front of us."

Average May temperatures typically hover around 39°C, but over the past few weeks the mercury has pushed into the mid-40s. Humidity, experts say, will increase in the next weeks, and weather patterns in other countries will be to blame. June temperatures have been forecast to reach 48°C by mid-month, significantly higher than the average of 39°C. Experts attribute the higher temperatures to the heat island effect, whereby heat created by construction and heavy traffic is trapped in the urban centre because of tall buildings and absorbed by pavements and roads.

Meteorologists also report a zero chance of rain for at least the next seven months. * The National