UAE weather: rain and sandstorms sweep across the country

Police urge drivers to be vigilant amid deteriorating conditions

Rain and sandstorms have swept across the UAE creating difficult conditions on the roads.

Abu Dhabi Police warned drivers to be extra vigilant because of dust clouds.

Videos posted to social media showed cars slowing to a crawl in Dubai because of poor visibility.

"Abu Dhabi Police urges drivers to be cautious due to low visibility during high winds and dust, and for your safety and for the safety of others on the road, please do not be distracted by taking any videos or using your phone," it said.

The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) cautioned that winds of up to 45kph could kick up dust clouds and reduce visibility.

It also warned of downpours until at least Wednesday, with the east particularly affected.

"[It will be] dusty and partly cloudy to cloudy, especially over the northern and eastern areas and extending to some internal areas, with some rainy convective clouds formation," the NCM said.

"Northwesterly winds, fresh to strong at times [will cause] blowing dust and sand, reducing the horizontal visibility."

The UAE's east coast has been chiefly affected by the torrential downpours. Videos posted to social media by the NCM showed rainwater surging through wadis, dams filling and motorists navigating flooded roads.

The country recorded major rainfall figures on Wednesday when downpours hit their peak.

At least 27.7mm of rain was recorded at a gauge in Dibba and 17.1mm fell in nearby Dhadna.

The UAE typically receives, on average, about 100mm of rain a year.

The wild weather came after a milder than usual winter, with long periods of sunshine.

Updated: May 3, 2021 06:46 PM

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