Icy rains amid hot spells in UAE: Why heavy showers, hailstorms have been lashing the emirates

Though the weather seemed erratic over the past few weeks, such conditions are considered normal around this time of the year, an NCM official says


Nandini Sircar

Published: Thu 6 Oct 2022, 3:44 PM

Last updated: Thu 6 Oct 2022, 4:14 PM

Have you ever wondered why it was hailing in the UAE even as the country recorded highs of 43°C this October?

Rain and hailstorms are normal during the autumn season — and they may continue even after the winter weather sets in, an official from the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) has said.

"This is not unusual — it has happened before...Some pressure systems will affect our area and lead to unstable weather conditions this season," Dr Ahmed Habib from the NCM told Khaleej Times on Thursday.

Recently, the country has been receiving plenty of icy showers, but they don't often reach the city.

The NCM reported heavy rains over Dubai’s Al Qudra Lake earlier this week. A downpour was also recorded over the Emirates Road (Dubai stretch), parts of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah.

Explaining the science behind this weather phenomenon, Dr Habib said: “We are experiencing an extension of low pressure coming from the East, in the surface, middle layer, and upper layers. There is good humidity in all the layers.

"There is an extension of low pressure towards Dubai…between Fujairah and Dubai and Al Ain and Dubai. This leads to the formation of convective clouds quickly, and it is also associated with high temperatures during the day, recording about 42.7 or 43 degrees in the surface layer. The cooling is at the top, where the air is cold enough to freeze the droplets. Thus, convective clouds revolve around this area giving us heavy rain and hail.”

Fair weather for the weekend

According to the NCM, a relatively fair weather can be expected this weekend, with the probability of fog or mist in the morning over some coastal areas. Clouds will appear eastward by afternoon.

Saturday morning will be humid, but the weather will largely be clear during the day. Dust can be expected at times.

Over the past few weeks, parts of the UAE have been receiving heavy rain and hail. Videos posted online last month and in August show residents scooping up ice pellets.

The UAE transitioned into the fall season in September, and temperatures have dipped significantly. The mercury will fall further throughout this month.

The NCM said in its monthly climate report that October would see a “significant decrease” in temperatures and “rapid changes in weather conditions".


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