22°C to 50°C in UAE: Why do temperatures vary between different areas?

While areas like Al Dhafra have seen highs hovering around 50°C in the past few weeks, it’s relatively cooler in Al Ain’s Raknah


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Tue 2 Jul 2024, 6:09 PM

Last updated: Wed 3 Jul 2024, 8:32 AM

Even as temperatures in the UAE cross the 50°C-mark as summer peaks, there are certain areas that continue to record lows of 22°C. While areas like Al Dhafra have seen highs hovering around 50°C in the past few weeks, it’s relatively cooler in Al Ain’s Raknah.

According to an expert, Raknah continuing to record 22°C is due to unique characteristics that are different from other parts of the UAE.

Explaining the reasons for the disparity in temperature, Dr Ahmed Habib from the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), in an interview with Khaleej Times on Tuesday said, “Raknah is a unique location. Approximately nine years ago, we organised some special studies and this revealed that its topography is distinctive. If you look at the map of Raknah and its stations, you will notice consistently lower temperatures.”

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During the winter months, particularly in January, Raknah experiences notably sub-zero temperatures, which often result in the formation of icicles and freezing water in the area.

Shining a spotlight on the reasons, he added, “Its special topography includes features like wadis, trees within these wadis, and dunes. As the air mass moves from higher to lower elevations, it cools down, causing a temperature drop. This particularly happens at night and early morning. The sand here is also somewhat different. All these factors together contribute to the unique temperature of Raknah, making it a special place due to its diverse topography.”

How will north-westerly winds effect region?

Meanwhile, he also highlighted that beginning today and continuing into Wednesday, the country will be under the effect of north-westerly winds.

“As a result, temperatures are not excessively high, with some locations recording maximum daytime temperatures of 46°C or 47°C.”

Habib also explained the temperature is influenced by the pressure system over the region and the associated air mass.

Shedding light on this, the veteran weatherman said, “The characteristics of an air mass depend on its origin. When the air mass comes from the desert, it is usually very dry and hot. If you are experiencing a north-westerly wind coming from the north, associated with high pressure, the air mass will be hot and humid.”

“On the other hand, if you are influenced by the Indian monsoon low coming from the East, the air mass will also be hot and humid, but it’s worth nothing that this is from a different source. Therefore, the weather conditions largely depend on the direction from which the air mass originates,” he added.


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