x

Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

'Nothing unusual' about downpour in Al Ain

Mohammed Al Nuaimi, founder of stormcentre.ae, said seasonal rains occur every year during July and August.

The heavy deluge of summer rain that struck the Al Ain region at the weekend is forecast to return in force in the coming days.

High humidity and temperatures are expected to culminate in downpours from Tuesday or Wednesday, though the rest of the country will remain hot and dry.

“Those summer seasonal rains occur every year during July and August,” said Mohammed Al Nuaimi, founder of stormcentre.ae, which is based in Al Ain.

The rains are locally known as ‘Rewaheya’, a translation that alludes to windy conditions and the sun vanishing behind the rainclouds from noon until sunset.

In the past two weeks rains have struck Al Ain and Al Dhaid, Malaiha, Masafi and Wadi Al Hilo, Wadi Shoukah, and Wadi Al Ghour.

They served as a novelty to the sunbaked residents of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, being shared widely on social media.

But they turned roads into mudbaths and are little use to farmers and gardeners this time of year.

"The summer rains bear no benefit whatsoever to trees and greenery, because the sun is too hot and strong. Trees only start to grow after the 24th of August, when the temperature starts to go down," said Mr Al Nuaimi.

"If there is rain after, that is when trees can grow."

Dr Ahmed Habib, from the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology, said despite the dramatic appearance, summer downpours are not unusual.

“This is not that strange and we see it every year," he said.

"At this time of year, clouds accumulative in eastern and southern areas and they are accompanied by rainfall, though the intensity of the rain differs from one year to the next.

“Last year there was even rain in Abu Dhabi city, on the Corniche and over the airport."

Ameed Al Kurdi said he witnessed a “crazy sand storm and heavy rainfall” while driving from Al Ain to Dubai on Friday afternoon.

“My car wipers could not keep up with it,” added the 40-year-old computer engineer, originally from Jordan.

“It started as dust and a sand storm, then there was heavy rainfall."

The rain tends to be sporadic and can fall in one area of the city and not another.

“I did not notice any flooding in the streets of Al Ain, I just drove through a pool of water on the highway. The area outside my house in Al Mutaredh usually floods when there is rain, but this time luckily it did not."