Motorists warned as dust storm reduces visibility

(Nissar Hoath)
Filed on March 27, 2011
Motorists warned as dust storm reduces visibility

A strong dust storm that affected air services in Kuwait and Bahrain also hit most of the western parts of the UAE, reducing visibility to as low as 100 metres in some parts.

Motorists warned as dust storm reduces visibility (/assets/oldimages/sand1_27032011.jpg)

According to the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), the dust storm that hit the country, mainly Abu Dhabi’s western region, was caused by low pressures over Iran and Iraq. “There was also a high pressure over the North of the Arabian Peninsula. The heating of the two systems (the low and high pressures) created strong Northwesterly winds and carried over dust from Iran and Iraq, hitting most of the northern and eastern regions of the peninsula, including the UAE,” a weatherman told Khaleej Times.

The centre also advised motorists to take extra caution while on the road since the dusty weather caused reduced horizontal visibility.

He added that the moving mass of dust reduced visibility to 100 metres in parts of Abu Dhabi’s Al Gharbia, mainly Al Hamra. In most parts, he added, the visibility was lower than 1,000 metres.

According to the met office official, the level of horizontal visibility on Saturday was 1,200 metres in Al Buteen district, 1,500 metres in Abu Dhabi and 2,500 metres in Al Dhafra.

The dust storm, the weatherman said, passed over southern Saudi Arabia and northern Yemen. “The tail of the storm remained all over the UAE, but by Sunday and Monday the weather will be cleared with a slight drop in temperature.”

He noted that fresh Northwesterly winds of 30 knots were reported offshore with nine to 10 feet high waves and winds of 15 to 25 knots on the mainland. Temperatures will fall by three to six degrees celsius in parts of the country in the next 48 hours.

Meanwhile, an official at the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) confirmed on Saturday that none of the air services at the five airports of the emirate have been affected by the bad weather.

“All operations are normal at all the airports. Nothing has been affected because of the weather. It was a small dust blow that could not affect the operations,” she added.

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