Heavy rain, thunderstorm lash UAE; residents warned of unstable conditions

07:37PM Mon 12 Feb, 2024

UAE residents have been warned of inclement weather conditions as six of the seven emirates experienced moderate to heavy rainfall accompanied by lightning and thunder on Sunday. The UAE's National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) recorded rains in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, and Ras Al Khaimah.

The weather department has issued orange and yellow alerts, where yellow signifies 'be aware' - advising individuals to be vigilant during outdoor activities, and orange indicates "be prepared" - warning of expected hazardous weather events. It is advised to comply with advice provided by the authorities. In the event of a red alert, residents are asked to take action and be extremely vigilant because hazardous weather events of exceptional severity are forecasted.

The Ministry of Interior said that the country is witnessing rain and winds of varying intensity, accompanied by thunder, lightning and hail. The unstable conditions have reduced horizontal visibility on the roads.

Residents have been urged to exercise caution, reduce speed while driving and avoid water ponds and fast-moving streams. Venturing into the sea could be dangerous, and people are asked to stay away from beaches. The sea conditions are anticipated to be moderate initially but may become rough, especially with cloud activity, in the Arabian Gulf and the Oman Sea.

The Ministry emphasised its readiness and preparedness to address the drop in temperature. The public is strongly advised to refrain from spreading rumours and rely on official sources for news updates regarding rai, thunderstorms and floods.

Dubai government employees have been allowed to work remotely on Monday, February 12, due to expected unstable weather conditions. The decision includes employees in all government agencies in the emirate of Dubai, except for jobs that require workplace attendance.

Private schools, nurseries, and universities in Dubai have been advised to offer distance learning options to students on February 12. Amid unstable weather conditions, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has advised institutions to consider flexible learning options, considering the needs of parents, staff and students.

Monday weather forecast
The Met Department forecasts the continuation of unstable weather, and cloudy conditions are expected to persist, accompanied by convective clouds resulting in rainfall of varying intensities, lightning, and thunder over scattered areas. The country is expected to experience a significant decrease in temperatures.

Winds are forecasted to be moderate, ranging from northeasterly to southeasterly initially, but may become fresh and strong intermittently, particularly with cloud activity, leading to blowing dust and sand and reduced horizontal visibility, with speeds reaching between 20 to 35 kilometres per hour and occasionally reaching 70 kilometres per hour. The sea conditions in both the Arabian Gulf and the Oman Sea are projected to be rough to very rough at times, especially with cloud activity.

Tuesday weather forecast
The weather on Tuesday will be partly cloudy to cloudy at times, with a chance of rainfall over northern and eastern areas during the daytime. It will be humid by night and Wednesday morning, with a chance of fog or mist formation over some internal and coastal areas, especially western areas.

Winds are expected to be light to moderate, ranging from northeasterly to southeasterly, occasionally freshening with cloud activity leading to blowing dust and sand, with speeds ranging between 15 to 25 kilometres per hour and occasionally reaching 40 kilometres per hour. The sea is forecasted to be rough in the early morning due to clouds, but conditions are anticipated to become moderate to slight in both the Arabian Gulf and the Oman Sea.