Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 October 2020

Snow falls on Jebel Jais amid week of extreme weather in UAE

The mercury hit -0.1 °C, leaving the UAE's highest peak under a blanket of snow

Snow has fallen on the UAE’s highest peak as temperatures plummeted to zero during the country’s week-long bout of extreme weather.

Videos emerged on social media of the covering of the white stuff on Jebel Jais, in Ras Al Khaimah, after snow fell on the mountain on Tuesday night and into the early hours of Wednesday.

In one video, a man clothed in a thick winter jacket stands in front of a 4x4 as flurries of snow fall around him.

In another, a Toyota FJ Cruiser, more used to conquering sand dunes, sits with its lights illuminating the ground, which is covered in a blanket of snow.

In a third video, shared on the Storm Centre’s Instagram account, snow can be seen drifting across one of the mountain’s roads. The video went viral attracting more than 40,000 views in eight hours.

Videos of the white covering were also shared on Twitter.

It comes after snow turned parts of Saudi Arabia into a winter wonderland. Some areas, such as Tabuk in the northern region, were covered in a white blanket as residents shared videos of the rare event on social media.

Forecasters at the UAE’s weather bureau, the National Centre of Meteorology, had warned about the possibility of snow falling on the UAE’s mountains.

The plummeting temperatures are the latest example of this week’s unstable weather in the UAE, which has included heavy rain, hail, gloomy skies and the occasional sunny spell between the showers.

On Tuesday, a waterspout was spotted off the coast of the Emirates. The marine phenomenon - which resembles a small tornado - was captured by an Emirati firefighter.

The intense vortex, which was seen just off Ghalilah, a town in Ras Al Khaimah near the Musandam border, occurs over water, and usually develops under a rain cloud. It quickly dissipates when it arrives on dry land.

And over the weekend, around a year’s worth of rain fell on some parts of the country, forcing a number of schools to shut on Sunday in Dubai and Abu Dhabi due to damage as a result of a three-day deluge.

In Dubai, figures suggest that at the peak of the downpours, 150mm of rain fell each hour, for two-and-a-half hours. During a typical January in the Emirates, about 10mm of rain falls on average.

Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah were also heavily flooded.

Updated: January 15, 2020 04:59 PM

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