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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 April 2019

Sandstorm warning issued across the Emirates

Gusts of up to 55kph will kick up dust and sand, reducing visibility

Latest: What causes the UAE's sandstorms and are they dangerous?

Forecasters are warning of sandstorms which could hit large areas of the UAE on Monday.

Gusts of up to 55 kilometres an hour will kick up dust and sand, reducing visibility to less than 2km at times.

Everywhere except the far eastern corner of the country will be affected, according to the National Centre for Meteorology.

The warning is in place from 8am on Monday up until 6pm.

There will also be rain of “different intensities” that may be thundery at times over scattered areas.

South-easterly to north-easterly winds will be strongest over the sea. The Oman Sea will be rough, while the Arabian Sea will rough to very rough.

Temperatures will reach a high of 34°C in Abu Dhabi, 33°C in Al Ain, 32°C in Dubai and 31°C in Sharjah.

The Emirates have experienced an extended spell of unsettled weather with thunder and rain during the weekend, as well as a sandstorm.

Sunday was another day of reduced visibility as the climate enters the transition phase between winter and summer.

There was also the rare sight of hailstones in Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain on Sunday morning.

Hail occurs when strong currents of rising air, otherwise known as updrafts, carry droplets of water up high enough to freeze, as the higher you go, the colder it gets. And the stronger an updraft, the larger a hailstone can grow.

Updrafts can be caused by the sun heating the ground, which causes the surrounding air to rise, creating the perfect conditions for hail, even in the hot UAE desert.

Updated: March 26, 2019 02:41 AM

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