UAE runs cloud seeding missions as more wild weather closes in

Damac Hills was one of the worst hit on Sunday with trees felled and roofs damaged

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A clean-up operation was under way in Dubai on Monday following torrential rain and high winds, as forecasters warned more wild weather could be on the way.

Officials from the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) said further cloud was forming over mountainous areas in the east on Monday morning.

It would begin travelling to other parts of the country, reaching internal areas of Dubai including Al Maktoum Airport, about noon and extending to the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city, tailing off by about 7pm.

The weather centre shared videos of rain in the northern emirates and confirmed it was running cloud seeding missions. The process uses planes and salt crystal flares to maximise the impact of rainfall on the dry desert environment.

“The situation we are expecting today is similar to what happened yesterday,” said Ahmed Al Kamali, a forecaster with NCM.

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We could see wood and debris flying through the air on the construction site near to Damac Hills, it was quite unnerving

“It might also extend to some coastal areas, not all coastal areas.

"In Abu Dhabi we are not expecting the island to have any rain, however, we are expecting it in some internal areas, such as around Abu Dhabi International Airport and Al Shahama, Al Wathba, the road between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and Abu Dhabi and Al Ain also.”

Stormy rain clouds swept through the emirate on Sunday afternoon, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake.

Houses were flooded and trees were uprooted across several areas in Dubai, including Meydan, Arabian Ranches and in Al Hebiah 3.

British father-of-two Chris Spong, 41, who lives in Arabian Ranches, said the storm appeared to be isolated to the desert communities near Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Street.

“We could see wood and debris flying through the air on the construction site near to Damac Hills, it was quite unnerving,” he said.

“If that had hit a car it could have done some serious damage and caused an accident.

“There was some light flooding at the entrance to Arabian Ranches but nowhere near as much damage as elsewhere.

“It looked like the eye of the storm was right over Damac Hills.”

Damac Hills was one of the worst hit with twelve trees reported down in the Whitefield area.

Contractors there were clearing away debris from paths and roads across the area on Monday morning.

Residents reported extensive garden damage on social media, while golfers took cover and abandoned their round as high winds whipped-up sand and dust making play impossible.

Other communities had windows smashed by flying debris and dislodged roof tiles.

In one video, sun beds could be seen clattering into buildings after being picked up and thrown around in gale-force winds.

William Horsborough, a British teacher, was out sailing when the storm swept into Dubai.

“We were out sailing on the water when we saw the storm coming in,” he said.

“We completely lost sight of Burj Khalifa then we had almost no visibility, it was crazy.

“I feel bad for the guys who have to do the clean up as there is quite a lot of damage around.

“We saw trees blown over and debris littered all over the roads.”

Downed trees in Meydan were pulled to the side of the road so motorists could pass, while pathways were blocked.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai are likely to see showers and windspeeds approaching 40 kilometres and hour are forecast later in the afternoon.

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