x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

No sun on the horizon

While the rain may disperse by tomorrow, winds are expected to kick back in, reaching up to 20 knots.

Overcast skies, light rain and possible thunder showers are likely to continue today.
Overcast skies, light rain and possible thunder showers are likely to continue today.

The rain of recent days is expected to ease by tomorrow, but sunshine is not forecast to return until the end of the week. Overcast skies, light rain and possible thunder showers are likely to continue today. "There's a huge cloud bank hovering over the UAE," said the Dubai International Airport on-duty weather forecaster. He added that the country could expect between 10mm and 20mm of rain before the cloud bank moved further east.

"Any time you get more than about 20mm of rain, you may get some localised flooding," he said. Although rainstorms are infrequent in the UAE, he said this weather was typical for the winter. A spokesman for the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) said flooding could be expected in the north and that low-lying roadways and wadis should be avoided. While the rain may disperse by tomorrow, winds are expected to kick back in, reaching 20 knots by Wednesday or Thursday.

The country has witnessed a spate of unusual weather over the past week, including sandstorms and heavy rainfall. The NCMS recorded wind speeds of up to 55kph. Seafarers were warned to avoid the water as waves reached heights of up to 2.5 metres. The sandstorms were caused by a low-pressure system travelling west from the Red Sea, decreasing visibility to 500 metres in some places. The rain also had an effect on temperatures, which hovered at an average of 24°C yesterday.

Al Foah, near Al Ain, got the most rainfall: 34.8mm in less than 48 hours, most of it falling within a three-hour period. Jebel Hafeet had 21mm of precipitation since Friday and Abu Dhabi recorded 14.8mm. jgerson@thenational.ae