Fog causes flight delays, traffic jams in UAE for fourth day

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Weather forecasts say the fog will continue till Friday.- Photo by Neeraj Murali
Weather forecasts say the fog will continue till Friday.- Photo by Neeraj Murali

Dubai - Weather experts have forecast fog formation to continue until Friday, after which the skies are expected to clear up.

By Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Tue 26 Dec 2017, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 27 Dec 2017, 7:47 AM

Residents continued to experience dense blanket of fog on early mornings in the UAE for the fourth consecutive day. Several flights were delayed at Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi airports on Tuesday. However, no flights were cancelled due to bad weather.
Meanwhile, weather experts have forecast fog formation to continue until Friday, after which the skies are expected to clear up.
The National Meteorological Centre (NCM) stated that Tuesday's fog is in line with the forecast that was issued earlier this week. The NMC stated that the fog affected the northern emirates more than the western regions on Tuesday.
Traffic police urged residents to exercise caution while driving in the fog and to refrain from using hazard lights. Major roads in Dubai and Sharjah witnessed traffic jams in the morning.
Mohammed Afraz, a resident of International City in Dubai, said: "Some of the inroads to reach International City, that's if you cut in from Al Awir road, do not have street lights. While driving at night, we could not see a thing. It was something out of a horror flick." However, another Dubai resident Sajeev said that the weather conditions have improved since last week.
"The mornings have become nice and sunny. So that is something that I am happy about. Initially, there would be fog even mid-afternoon.but not from yesterday," said Reshmi Nair.
Weather forecasters have said that the temperatures are expected to remain steady throughout the week. "It will be humid at night and early mornings, especially in the internal areas on Wednesday. However, the fog formation will continue until Wednesday and Thursday early mornings and nights," added a duty weather forecaster at the NCM. The fog warning is still up though relative humidity is expected to increase by Tuesday night and Wednesday morning giving rise to fog or mist formation.

No flight cancellations

Airline services were impacted at the Dubai International Airport on Tuesday as well. The fog has delayed flight arrivals and departures of Emirates airlines, but the airline has not reported any flight cancellations.
According to Swedish internet-based flight-tracking website flightradar24.com, 81 per cent of the flights departing from Dubai International Airport experienced delays by an average of 30 minutes as of Wednesday afternoon. However, none of the departures was cancelled. Meanwhile, 48 per cent of the arrivals faced an average 16-minute delay and 6 per cent of the arrivals were cancelled.
However, Abu Dhabi International Airport only faced an average 14-minute delay, with 28 per cent delayed departures.
Passengers, supposed to depart in an Air India Express flight from Sharjah International Airport on Monday at 2.25am to Mumbai, India, were stranded in the airport for several hours.
Indian national and Sharjah resident Arsalan Shaikh, said: "I got an SMS from the airline saying that my flight has been postponed to 10.45am. The same flight got postponed to 1.20pm and to 3.10pm later. Finally, it took off at 4.45pm. I reached Mumbai at 9.45 pm (IST). It was a very tiring Christmas." He added that the airport was overcrowded, and the staff did not provide passengers with correct information.
Several other passengers faced similar problems and flights from Sharjah faced delays in arrivals and departures early in the morning.
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com



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