Flood warning for Northern Emirates after thick dust blankets Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Hazy conditions cut visibility to less than 500 metres in Abu Dhabi before heavy rain hit the Northern Emirates

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People in Fujairah were warned to be "extremely vigilant" on Sunday afternoon after heavy rain hit the Northern Emirates.

The National Centre of Meteorology issued a red alert for the area, cautioning of "hazardous weather events of exceptional severity".

The NCM said rainfall was expected until about 9pm, largely in the Northern Emirates.

Heavy rain was recorded in parts of Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah between 3.10pm and 4.21pm, with further rainfall in Fujairah.

The weather centre said people should take precautions in case of heavy rain in eastern regions and stay away from flooded areas.

The authorities remain on alert after deadly flash floods hit the eastern region of the UAE last month.

Seven people died and more than 800 were rescued after torrential downpours caused flooding across the northern and eastern coasts.

The NCM said it was the wettest July in decades.

UAE hit by dust storms and rain

A dust alert was issued on Sunday morning, as the UAE braced for several days of heavy rainfall and high winds.

Visibility remained poor across the Emirates until early evening.

A number of flights bound for Dubai International Airport were diverted to neighbouring airports due to the reduced visibility.

The national weather centre said visibility had dropped below 500 metres in many parts of the country, including over Abu Dhabi International Airport, as winds reached 40kmph.

People were asked to take the wet weather into consideration when heading outdoors.

Abu Dhabi Police shared a message on social media shortly before 3pm asking motorists to abide by variable speed limits displayed on electronic road signs while driving during rain.

People had woke to thick clouds of dust blanketing the skylines of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with many large buildings barely visible under the haze.

Members of the public were asked to follow guidance from authorities as the strong winds kicked up sand and dust, greatly reducing visibility.

Abu Dhabi Police cautioned motorists to be vigilant while driving in dusty conditions.

The force called on people to refrain from taking photographs of the unsettled weather while behind the wheel.

Abu Dhabi Media Office on Saturday said people should only drive “if necessary” due to the adverse conditions to come.

It said drivers should turn on their low-beam during bouts of poor visibility.

It said Al Ain and Al Dhafra were likely to be worst affected.

More rain to come

Authorities came together on Friday to discuss response plans for a period of unstable weather.

The National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, better known as Ncema, took part in a meeting with the National Centre of Meteorology, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and police chiefs.

“All local and national teams are highly prepared to ensure an effective and proper response to any risks that may arise as a result of the condition,” Ncema said.

The UAE could be set for more rain until at least Friday, according to the latest forecasts.

Winds of up to 40 kilometres an hour are expected in parts of the country in the days ahead.

These are expected to bring more dust and sand storms. The rain is also expected to cause a drop in temperatures throughout the first part of the week.

“There will be a chance of rain formation in some parts of the east and south on Saturday and Sunday,” a forecaster from the NCM told The National last week.

“There is a low-pressure system with humid air from the Sea of Oman and Arabian Sea coming towards our area,” he said. “We expect some moderate to heavy rain.”

The NCM said rain was most likely to fall in the southern and western parts of the country.

The drop in temperature is in contrast to the hot weather of last week.

Temperatures topped 50°C in Swehain, which was the hottest place on Earth on one June afternoon in 2021.

Rain in the UAE - in pictures

Updated: August 14, 2022, 1:07 PM
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