Welcome showers, duststorm

MAJOR traffic snarls clogged UAE roads and left motorists stranded for hours after a sand storm and isolated heavy showers on Wednesday afternoon.

By (By Team K.T.)

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Published: Thu 31 Jul 2008, 2:02 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:20 PM

A few people suffered minor injuries in 20 small traffic accidents, according to the Dubai Police Operation Room duty officer.

Dubai Meteorological Office duty forecaster Giorgio Alessio said visibility dropped to below 100 metres in inland areas and along the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway, as the storm traced a path from Al Ain to Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi.

“Even though I used the fog lights, it was difficult to see the next vehicle in front. It took me almost three hours to reach Sharjah from Jebel Ali,” said Sajjad Ali, a Marketing Executive in a Jebel Ali based Company.

Echoing the same sentiments Wilson Joseph another motorist said: “I was very cautious to drive as the visibility was very low. I was praying that these conditions would not cause any accidents like the massive pile-up in Dubai -Abu Dhabi Road recently.”

The sand storm, with winds of 67km per hour, followed by heavy showers swept the Hatta mountains hitting Al Ain about 5.30pm Wednesday.

The rains brought residents some relief from the scorching heat over the past few days.

An Al Ain met official said that more rain was expected in Al Ain on Thursday while there was a slight chance of showers in the evening.

But there is no chance of rain in the capital on Thursday, said a duty forecaster at the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology yesterday.

The general weather will be hot, hazy and partially cloudy over some areas of the country.

But rainy clouds are expected over eastern and mountainous areas of the country by Thursday afternoon the centre said.

Meanwhile, the temperature will come down a couple of degrees in the Abu Dhabi emirate and the maximum temperature to be 40 degrees Celsius.

The maximum humidity level is expected to be at 80 per cent and minimum 25.

The high humidity caused the comfort index to soar as high as eight in parts of the UAE on Wednesday.

The maximum temperature in other emirates will be between 43-46 degrees Celsius except Fujairah where the maximum temperature would be 36.

The department forecast that the wind speed on Thursday will be high and a north westerly wind is expected to blow in the internal parts of the country at speeds of 15-20 knots, causing dust but the visibility level will be clear.

However, Dubai Police again reminded motorists to take care in poor weather conditions as 5 per cent of the total traffic accidents took place during fog or during the sudden spells of rain or dust.

Motorists were urged to slow down and increase the space between their cars.

(Inputs from Zoe Sinclair, Riyasbabu, Amira Agarib, Anwar Ahmed and Lana Mahdi)


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