x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE weather: desert winds send temperatures soaring

Temperatures across the country are set to hit 49C during the day, only dropping to 45C at night.

Ahmed Abdullah, 12, has the Corniche Beach in Abu Dhabi almost all to himself as he braves the heat.
Ahmed Abdullah, 12, has the Corniche Beach in Abu Dhabi almost all to himself as he braves the heat.

DUBAI// Temperatures are expected to reach 49°C in parts of the country this week as the stifling heat of summer grinds on.

The searing sunshine is being caused by continuing southerly winds from desert areas - and weather experts say there will be no respite anytime soon.

"It's going to be very hot this week, but it's normal this time of year," said a forecaster at the National Centre of Metrology and Seismology in Abu Dhabi. "The southerly winds are the main cause because they are bringing in hot air from the desert."

Coastal areas can expect midday temperatures to hit a high of 49°C over the next three days, with the heat only dropping to about 45°C at night.

"In the evenings, cooler air from the north will also bring in moisture and that will see humidity reach about 85 per cent," said the forecaster. "It will become humid, but fortunately only for a few hours."

He urged the public to avoid being outdoors at about midday.

"Although it is very hot, it's not unexpected and these types of temperatures are common this time of year. It's important that people stay out of the sun," the forecaster said.

This view was echoed by medical experts. "For people who are not fasting, I would advise drinking a lot of water to avoid dehydration," said Dr Maurice Kallas, head of the emergency department at Al Noor Hospital in Abu Dhabi.

"For those who are fasting, I would suggest staying in cooler areas and to avoid exposure to the sun."

He said the key time of day to avoid being outdoors was from noon to 4pm.

Despite the high temperatures, Tawam Hospital in Al Ain did not treat a single case of dehydration or heatstroke over the weekend.

Steve Matarelli, the hospital's chief operating officer, said: "People are pretty clued in on how to stay safe in the heat in the UAE because it's a common aspect of life."

nhanif@thenational.ae