Weather sparks problems

SHARJAH/DUBAI — Continuing on the overcast and windy conditions prevalent since yesterday the weather today is expected to be cooler and a risk of thundershowers during the afternoon has also been forecast.

By Ramona Ruiz And Zaigham Ali Mirza

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Published: Mon 27 Dec 2004, 11:36 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:36 PM

The weather yesterday was windy and partly cloudy, and relatively warmer at 27 degrees Celsius. A sandstorm that had enveloped Dubai and the Northern Emirates since morning, affecting visibility on the roads and creating bad conditions for motoring, cleared by afternoon.

According to the weather office at the Sharjah International Airport, 0.3 mm of rain was recorded in the suburbs of Sharjah, while moderate rain was reported from the town area. Parts of Dubai also experienced a spot of rain. A marine warning for strong winds of up to 25 knots was issued yesterday and was to remain in force till midnight.

The sandstorm and the resulting haze, which reduced visibility, caused minor disruptions to flight operations at Sharjah International Airport yesterday. Dubai airport, however, did not experience any disruptions or diversion of flights, according to a Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) spokesperson.

A source at the Sharjah Airport said that two Air Arabia flights were affected due to the weather conditions yesterday. “Between 9.30am and 9.30pm, there was low visibility at 200 metres. Two Air Arabia inbound and outbound flights were affected. By 10.40am, visibility was at 1,200 metres,” Saifullah, operations supervisor at Sharjah Airport, said.

In addition, flight No. AI 5115, a special Haj flight from Srinagar to Jeddah via Sharjah, got delayed. Its estimated arrival time was 12noon, but landed at Sharjah airport at 1.25pm. He added that flight operations returned to normal as the weather cleared.

A.K. Nizar, head of sales at Air Arabia said: “Air Arabia’s Muscat flight this morning was only delayed 25 minutes due to low visibility caused by the sandstorm at Sharjah Airport. Flight No. G9001 to Muscat departed at 9.55am and arrived in Muscat at 11am. Scheduled time of departure was 9.30am from Sharjah, with arrival in Muscat at 10.20am (all local times).”

He added: “Flight No G9024 from Colombo to Sharjah was diverted to Dubai due to bad weather at Sharjah. The flight landed in Dubai at 10am. This was a normal diversion due to a sandstorm as visibility was down to less than 800 metres at the time. In line with standard Airline Operating procedures, we kept the passengers on board and they were looked after by the crew who provided refreshments and any assistance to the passengers. As the weather has now improved the flight will take off from Dubai for Sharjah, with a change of crew with estimated time of arrival at 1.15pm in Sharjah Airport. This is a routine diversion that happens on a regular basis to all airlines and is the first such disruption this month for Air Arabia.”

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