x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Windy weather warning issued with chance of thunder

With winds to reach 50kph, weather officials warn motorists of poor visibility and tell people not venture out at sea

ABU DHABI // Dust and sand blanketed the country on Friday as the weather bureau issued an official weather warning.

The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has forecast unstable conditions but stressed there would be no sandstorms this weekend.

However, those with asthma and other allergies are advised to remain indoors as wind will whip up sand and dust throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. The centre added that there was a high chance of rain and possible thunder throughout the country Saturday, particularly in the Northern Emirates.

“Shallow clouds will cover scattered parts of the country and in the western and coastal areas,” a spokesman from the centre said.

“Instability in the weather condition will prevail in most parts of the country. Clouds will accumulate over different regions with a good chance of rain.”

Visibility was down to 1,700 metres in Jebel Ali Friday, and 1,000 metres in the western region. Visibility will remain poor Saturday.

“But there will not be a sandstorm,” the spokesman said. “For a sandstorm visibility needs to be lower than 1,000 metres. It may appear so near construction sites due to building material being blown in the air but it is not a sandstorm. Kuwait now has sandstorms.”

As wind direction changes on Saturday, from southerly to north-westerly, wind speeds will rise to reach 50kph and more sand and dust will be in the air.

“We caution motorists of bad visibility at times, and slippery roads once rains start,” the spokesman  said.

People with breathing problems should not be exposed to dust and should “stay indoors”.

“Or use masks,” the spokesman added. “Some think it is funny but it is not funny, honestly. They know how bad it is.”

The sea is forecast to be rough to very rough and people should not venture out into the water.

Temperatures will Saturday drop “significantly” to 28°C along the coast.