Dubai lashed by sandstorm

DUBAI - Motorists and commuters in Dubai had to negotiate the roads in low visibility and dusty air on Sunday even as thunderstorms gathered over the mountains in the eastern part of the country causing showers in Al Ain.

By Our Staff Reporters

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Published: Tue 12 Aug 2008, 1:18 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:01 PM

Forecasters warned that today would continue to remain hot, humid and uncomfortable.

Visibility in the evening dropped only in Dubai, forcing motorists to exert caution while driving on highways and main roads. Motorists frequenting the arterial thoroughfare, Shaikh Zayed Road, were caught in jams, and residents in other parts of the emirates also experienced similar traffic woes, caused by the dusty weather. A few minor accidents were also reported in the emirate. Dubai Traffic Police said there were no serious injuries.

Though temperatures stayed under 40 degree Celsius with the maximum touching just about 39 degree Celsius, residents experienced hot and extremely uncomfortable conditions.

A duty forecaster at the Dubai Meteorological Office told Khaleej Times, 'The low visibility was caused by thunderstorms that had developed over the mountains towards the east. They caused winds kicking up dust, which reduced visibility.'

He added that Al Ain and the Al Ain-Abu Dhabi highway experienced thunderstorms. He, however, ruled out any possibility of thunderstorms or light showers in Dubai.

The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology said that Al Faqa and Al Shiweb regions in the country experienced thunderstorms which brought temperatures down by a few degrees. A duty forecaster at the centre said showers and thunderstorms had been caused by the last spell of monsoon, which passed through the region on Sunday. Sharjah could experience heavy rains, he added.

In Al Ain, a sandstorm followed by a strong thunderstorm and rain in some parts reduced the visibility as well as temperature.

The visibility dropped to 1km during the sandstorm, an Al Ain Met official said.

'The temperature after the thunderstorm and the rain dropped from 45 degree Celsius to 35 degree Celsius,' added the official.

Humidity level was 50 per cent, while winds blew from the east and the northeast directions at an estimated 7 km/h.

The forecaster predicted clear skies on Monday. The region would be hot and humid during the day and the temperature would drop to 37 degree Celsius in the evening.

The official advised residents to stay indoors during thunderstorms as lightning, heavy rain and strong winds are possible.

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