UAE rains: Why downpours have been heavier and more frequent in Al Ain this summer

The Garden City has been under a rainy spell this season



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Thu 21 Jul 2022, 1:28 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Jul 2022, 10:29 PM

The UAE’s oasis city, Al Ain, is seeing more rains than usual this summer, an official from the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) has confirmed.

“This year, the downpour in Al Ain has been more frequent as compared to previous years. Last year, the UAE witnessed rains in different areas, not over Al Ain, but Hatta and Mleiha areas in the northeast of the country,” Dr Ahmed Habib from the NCM told Khaleej Times.

Known as the Garden City for its palm groves and natural springs, Al Ain has been under a rainy spell this season. It has seen everything ranging from hail to thunderstorms and heavy rains in peak summer, when temperatures have crossed 45°C elsewhere in the country.

Take a look at lightning and rains hitting Al Ain earlier this month shared by social media handle Storm Centre:

Another video it shared shows branches falling off trees caught in high-speed winds and rains:

The NCM reiterated that the UAE has been seeing several rainy days this summer. Summer rains are not uncommon as the country experiences monsoon low pressure from India. The emirates could see up to three days of rainfall a week during summer.

Dr Ahmed Habib said there are several factors contributing to this.

“This year, the low-pressure systems are travelling from the south-west from the Arabian Sea. So, it primarily depends on the source of the low pressure as to where it has originated and where it’s travelling. We are also experiencing the effect of low pressure from the southeast. Therefore, areas including Al Ain are experiencing rainfall. Sometimes, these clouds also extend to the coastal areas.”

Climate change

The NCM believes climate change is also a factor when it comes to increased frequency of heavy rains in the emirates.

“I believe global warming and climate change are possibly one of the reasons responsible for the increase in the frequency of rains in the UAE. Look at England. It has recorded the highest temperature ever registered recently amid a heat wave that has walloped parts of Europe. So, the climate change is evident. Another factor (for rain in the UAE) is the El Niño and La Niña phenomena are climate patterns that can affect weather worldwide.”

It’s said that, during La Niña events, trade winds are even stronger than usual, pushing more warm water toward Asia. Therefore, it’s a phenomenon that changes the temperatures of surface waters and the state of the atmosphere, leading to severe weather conditions for many.

Most of the rain alerts issued over the past few weeks by the NCM and police authorities have been for Al Ain. Have a look at this video from the Garden City shared by the Met office:

Expect more rains

Those looking to hit UAE roads as part of summer travel may want to watch out for the low clouds hanging over certain areas. “The eastern part of the UAE has chances of convective clouds and heavy rain in the coming weeks. Sometimes, it’ll be cloudy in the internal part of the UAE… between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain or between Al Ain and Dubai, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah.”

According to the NCM's five-day forecast issued on Thursday, though the weather will be hot during the daytime, cloudy conditions will persist over the next few days. Convective clouds may cause rains to fall "eastward and may extend over some internal and southern areas".

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