As thick fog descended upon the UAE on Sunday morning, Khaleej Times has learnt that the weather will be par for the course this week.
According to Dr Ahmed Habib from the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), the UAE has been experiencing unstable weather conditions over the past four days, leading to foggy weather.
“The fog formation inland is caused by high pressure and temperature radiation from the land due to lower temperatures during the late night and early morning,” said Habib.
“The fog started from Sweihan area of Abu Dhabi at about 11pm on Saturday, extended to the entire country and continued throughout Sunday morning. There was poor visibility in most parts of the UAE due to the fog. Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah airports were also affected by the thick fog.”
The weather forecaster noted that fog and mist can be expected in the UAE during the next few days, until Wednesday.
Delays due to poor visibility
The NCM issued a weather alert for residents on Sunday morning, cautioning them to drive carefully due to the bad weather.
Abu Dhabi Police took to social media to inform motorists about speed limits being reduced on key Abu Dhabi roads for their safety.
In Dubai, police reported heavy traffic due to an accident on Business Bay Bridge, causing more tailbacks. “Dear driver, reduce speed gradually and do not use hazard lights except for emergencies,” the authority said in a post on Twitter.
Abu Dhabi resident Mohammed Ashraf, who was driving to Al Ain on Sunday morning, said he was delayed for more than an hour due to the poor visibility.
“I started my journey to Al Ain at about 6.30am. Thick fog had covered many areas of the road by then, which made driving difficult," said Ashraf.
"I had to drive below 60km/hr for most of the journey to avoid problems."
Another motorist John Patrick said he was too affected by the poor visibility as he drove from Mohammed bin Zayed City to Abu Dhabi City during the morning. “Traffic movement on most of the roads entering the city was slow due to heavy fog. The speed limits had been reduced on the roads as well.”
Follow safety instructions
Drivers in UAE have been urged to follow traffic rules and abide by revised speed limits while driving in foggy weather.
The police have reminded all drivers to comply with the instructions shown on digital sign boards.
Speed limits are automatically reduced on Abu Dhabi roads and highways during adverse weather or foggy conditions.
“Motorists must stop their vehicles safely on the side in case of zero visibility,” the police had said earlier.
Drivers are also urged to increase the distance between their vehicles and those in front of them to avoid accidents and to never overtake vehicles in low visibility conditions. Lane changes must be avoided as much as possible too.
Motorists should use low lights, avoid hazard lights and listen to awareness messages provided by traffic authorities to drivers through social media sites and other communication channels to stay safe during bad weather.
Traffic authorities in Abu Dhabi have, in the past, reported many accidents that occurred in low visibility conditions and resulted in deaths and serious injuries.
Most accidents in foggy weather were attributed to tailgating and speeding.
The penalty for not adhering to safe driving instructions during fog is Dh500 and four black points, according to the Federal Traffic Law.
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