x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Weather forecasters expect colder, dustier weekend

Sandstorms and lower temperatures are expected.

ABU DHABI // Forecasters are warning of a cold and dusty weekend ahead.

After a relatively warm day today - between 28C and 32C, according to the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), tomorrow the temperature will substantially drop by 7 or 8C to around 22C  tomorrow (Friday), and high winds will create waves of up to four metres.

Residents witnessed a sandstorm whipping through the Tourist Club area of the capital today, due to the construction on Reem island. Horizontal visibility dropped to 1,400m over Al Dhafra airport, and under 100m in open areas.

"Dust enveloped the country before mid-day due to low pressure centred over Saudi Arabia and the western parts of the country," said the senior forecaster at NCMS.

Tomorrow and Saturday will continue to be dusty because of the strong northwesterly wind that is raising and carrying the sand over the Empty Quarter.

The southerly wind was expected to slow in the late afternoon today, and the strong northwesterly flow will start to affect the western region and the rest of the country in the evening.

The NCMS recorded winds of 40km/h per hour in Abu Dhabi city, more than 60km/h in Jebel Hafeet, 45km/h close to Al Ain city, and 50km/h in Bu Hamra, the central interior region of the country.

Slight rain was likely in northern Ras al Khaimah, the forecaster said.

Drivers were advised to take the necessary precautions against poor visibility while fishermen were advised not to venture out into the rough sea tomorrow.

rruiz@thenational.ae