Winter rains hit Dubai: UAE braces for 5°C drop in temperatures

Heavy to moderate rains hit Jumeirah and the Expo City areas on Sunday


Nandini Sircar

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Photo: KT reader
Photo: KT reader

Published: Sun 28 Jan 2024, 4:37 PM

Hold onto your woollies a little longer! After a burst of heavy showers in Dubai and Sharjah on Sunday morning, residents in the UAE should brace themselves for cooler days ahead, with temperatures expected to drop by up to 5°C over the next two days.

This change is attributed to the low-pressure system originating from the East, which also triggered rainfall on Sunday morning.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dr Ahmed Habib from the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) explained the reason behind the overcast skies and the eventual downpour. The veteran weather forecaster also explained that parts of Dubai, including Jumeirah and the Expo City areas in Dubai, witnessed heavy rainfall.

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He said, "Starting today (Jan 28), the effect of the northwesterly wind coming from the North will lead to a drop of up to 5°C in temperatures. This will especially be seen in the Western part of the country. It will be around 24-26°C in coastal areas, and internal areas will experience a maximum temperature of 25 -28°C. This is lower than the 32°C and 31°C we saw on Saturday and Friday, respectively. So, it's going to be relatively cold. The official winter months end in March."

Influence of low-pressure system

He emphasised that the rainfall on Sunday is due to the influence of a low-pressure system that originated from the East at the surface level, starting yesterday (Saturday).

"Consequently, convective clouds have begun forming along the East coast in Fujairah, leading to rainfall on Saturday during the daytime. Subsequently, we are now influenced by the extension of this low-pressure system in the upper atmosphere, originating from the West. Convective clouds developed over the Arabian Gulf late night and early morning, gradually progressing towards the coastal region from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah."

He highlighted the UAE's shoreline is seeing the presence of convective clouds and precipitation, resulting in varying degrees of rainfall in specific regions.

"Jumeirah and Expo areas have already experienced substantial rainfall. This weather system is progressing eastward into the inland areas between Dubai and Fujairah and between RAK and Fujairah, bringing rainfall of varying intensities. Following Sunday afternoon, the cloud cover is expected to diminish, leading to a dry night," he added.

Drier winter

Meanwhile, the UAE has seen a much dryer winter this year compared to previous years, as indicated by the experts from the NCM. But he points out this is not uncommon.

"Around two-three years ago, we observed similarly dry winters, reminiscent of the current year, especially in 2001. While it (such low rainfall) is not the norm, it has occurred in the past. Typically, a situation arises due to northwesterly winds or a pressure system affecting our area, but this January lacks such a system conducive to rainfall. Therefore, this year, the amount of rainfall received has been low, and the overall situation this month is notably weak, with generally a low frequency of rain. Today (Sunday) marks one of the better days."

He also stated it would remain humid over some coastal and internal areas, with the weather being fair to partly cloudy and cloudy at times over the islands and some western areas by night.

The country will also experience light to moderate northwesterly wind, and the sea in the Arabian Gulf and Oman Sea will be rough to moderate.


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