UAE weather: Dubai hit by spectacular lightning and rain storm

Flashes of lightning lit up the night sky on Saturday and heavy rain followed

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Dubai was hit by a spectacular lightning and rain storm on Saturday night, causing flash flooding within minutes.

The sky flashed continuously for almost an hour from 8pm, punctuated by cracks of thunder.

Hail followed and streets quickly filled up with water, in a repeat of the heavy flooding in late January.

Another deluge followed over night.

The storm followed torrential rain and thunderstorms earlier on Saturday that caused roads to flood. The Dubai Marina end of the city appeared to be worst hit.

Earlier, lightning lit up the sky over Abu Dhabi city on Friday night at about 10pm and was followed by a downpour that included rarely-seen hailstones in the capital.

Heavy rain arrived after dawn on Saturday, bringing with it more thunder and lightning, which created hazardous conditions for drivers as spray reduced visibility to around 50 metres.

The thundery showers continue along coastal areas through the afternoon, as predicted by the National Centre for Meteorology. One particularly heavy shower blanketed Abu Dhabi at around 4pm, with thunder regularly rumbling overhead.

Residents took to social media to show the inclement weather.

The satellite radar showed a large band of rain stretching from Abu Dhabi up along the coast as far as Umm Al Quwain and inland with scattered showers elsewhere in the region.

The roads were largely quiet as residents are being advised to stay indoors to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Temperatures are expected to reach 30°C in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The lowest temperature recorded this morning was 12.9°C at Jebel Jais.

Conditions in the Oman Sea and the Arabian Gulf will become rough by the evening.

Rainfall could continue through Sunday with the chance of thunder and lightning in the north and east of the country.