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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 February 2019

Weather to clear for Pope's Mass in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday

Rain expected on Monday but should not affect the pope's Mass next day

Thunderstorms that swept across the country on Sunday are expected to continue on Monday but should not coincide with the Pope’s historic open air Mass in Abu Dhabi, forecasters believe.

Rare downfalls were reported throughout the country on Sunday, with further rain expected on Monday. While there may be some rain in the north and east of the country on Tuesday, when the Pope is set to address around 135,000 people, the capital should remain cloudy but dry.

Ahmed Habib, a specialist at the National Centre of Meteorology, said an extension of low pressure had caused the “unstable” conditions at the start of the week. Rain in scattered areas is likely to continue on Monday, he said.

“The main affect will be until tomorrow [Monday] around noon time,” he said. “After that, it will be cloudy or partly cloudy. The chance of rain [on Tuesday] will be little. It may be over the mountains, but in other parts of the UAE it will be partly cloudy.

“There will be a fresh wind, strong at times, in the Arabian Gulf, so the sea will be rough or very rough on Tuesday. So it will not be good for any activity in the sea or beach. Over the land, the wind should be moderate in general.”

Previously, other forecasters had predicted that there was a possibility of thunderstorms, and a near-certainty of rain, in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. However, Accuweather, which made the prediction, is now forecasting mostly sunny, pleasant weather on the day.

In Ras Al Khaimah on Sunday, short periods of intense rain brought flash floods to areas of the emirate. Some roads were completely submerged by torrents of water, hindering traffic.

Pope Francis is due to arrive at 10pm on Sunday and should leave on Tuesday afternoon.

Updated: February 3, 2019 04:19 PM

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