Heavy rain lashes central and eastern UAE

Footage posted by the National Centre of Meteorology shows leaden skies, downpours and vehicles navigating harsh conditions

Unsettled weather hits the UAE's east and more rain is forecast for the weekend.
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Heavy rain, winds and dust storms have swept across parts of the UAE.

The National Centre of Meteorology on Thursday reported torrential rain hitting Suhaila in Sharjah, Dubai’s Hatta and parts of the Fujairah coast.

Footage posted to its social media pages showed leaden skies, downpours and vehicles navigating harsh conditions.

The unsettled weather swept in late on Wednesday and the NCM warned UAE residents that more would come at the weekend.

It forecast scattered rain for Friday and strong winds of up to 40kmh, whipping up dust clouds and reducing visibility.

The east and central parts are expected to most affected.

"[It will be] hazy and partly cloudy to cloudy at times over scattered areas with a chance of rainfall," the NCM said.

A similar pattern was expected next week as the country celebrates Eid Al Adha.

Storm Centre, a popular and informal social media channel that tracks the region’s weather, posted footage of the latest rain.

One shows stormwater surging down a mountain and across a road north of Hatta. Cities on the UAE’s west coast have escaped major rainfall this year but central regions and the east have experienced several bouts of rain.

The NCM’s cloud-seeding planes are also in action throughout the year and summer can be a busy time despite the common perception that it never rains during the period.

A screengrab of a video posted by Storm Centre showing bad weather north of Hatta.

The monsoons in India contribute to this as clouds drift across from India. This causes the phenomenon known as Khareef in Oman, where the desert turns green, and it also brings rain to the UAE's mountainous east.

Meanwhile, the NCM this week launched a “science dome” to tell people more about the diverse weather systems of the UAE. It has five projectors, enough seats for 60 people and a special effects system with heaters and artificial fog to take visitors on a 4D journey through extreme and unusual weather.

“Previously, people thought the weather was only hot, which is not true,” said Omar Al Yazeedi, director of research, development and training at the NCM.

“You see in the summer the amount of rain we get in the mountains and northern areas. Maybe in Abu Dhabi or Dubai or over the cities you don’t see much but people are interested.

"We would like to make the public and all people understand the real situation over the country, not the perception."

Updated: July 15, 2021, 9:30 AM