x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Rain in the east may give relief from soaring weekend heat

A small amount of rain in the eastern UAE may provide some relief from soaring temperatures in the rest of the Emirates.

DUBAI // A smattering of rain on the eastern side of the Emirates may provide a slight relief from the heat this weekend, but the rest of the country will be gripped by soaring temperatures.

Forecasters say temperatures could reach as high as 49°C in certain parts of the country because of strong southerly winds.

However, cumulous clouds gathering over mountains to the east could bring a welcome rainfall from Friday afternoon.

"There's a high chance of cumulous clouds over the mountainous or eastern area, due to the extreme temperature," a forecaster for the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) said. "We expect that this will cause light to moderate rain."

In coastal areas, temperatures will reach a high of 45°C and a low of 26°C at night. Relative humidity will be high, at 90 per cent.

Further inland, the maximum temperature will be 49°C and the minimum will be 26°C. Relative humidity inland is slightly lower at 70 per cent.

Over the mountains to the east of the country, the temperature will hit a maximum of 35°C.

George Odhiambo, assistant professor of geology at UAE University, said that although it was not guaranteed to rain, the prospect of it alone could bring people out to the mountains in a bid to escape the heat.

"Rain is not very common in this country," Mr Odhiambo said. "So whenever it does rain people come out to see and enjoy it."

The cumulous clouds may have been caused by the high humidity, driven up the mountain by winds and condensing into rain cloud.

The NCMS has also issued a warning over dust levels in the country. However, the dust is expected to clear over the weekend.

"Dust is already affecting most of the country, but it's light, hazy and not significant," the forecaster said. "This will decrease gradually from Friday onwards. We expect that there will be a minimum visibility of 3,000 metres."

 

mcroucher@thenational.ae

The National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology has posted an advert on its Facebook group calling for scientists to contact them with ideas on how to enhance rainfall in the UAE. The organisation already has an active cloud-seeding project, but is looking for further advice on improving results. Interested parties should contact: research@ncms.ae