Abu Dhabi/Dubai: Fog continued to disrupt life in the emirates for the second day in a row, with several flights cancelled in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, while the morning road traffic was a nightmare.
Such has been the hold of the fog and mist that warnings were issued by the Ministry of Interior even by the afternoon, a time of the day not normally known for having fog.
Some areas in the capital were reported to have near zero visibility, with Saaed reporting at 3pm on Wednesday that the formation of fog in the inlands of Abu Dhabi was causing almost no visibility.
In Abu Dhabi alone, police received up to 295 reports of minor accidents from 11pm on Tuesday until 10am on Wednesday with 77 of these calls made between 8am and 8.30am.
The morning mist equally disrupted air traffic, as 21 flights heading to Dubai were diverted to other airports, three flights were cancelled, while several flights, including Emirates Airlines and Fly Dubai, arrived or departed late.
With visibility level at Abu Dhabi airport dropping to 50 metres, Etihad Airways reported two flight cancellations, to Erbil and Muscat, while two flights were diverted and several carriers arrived or departed late.
Visibility was 100 metres at Al Maktoum airport, Jebel Ali, 300 metres at Al Bateen airport, and 600 metres at Dubai airport.
No major accidents have been reported in Dubai, a cyclist was reportedly injured in a minor traffic accident in the emirate.
Police urged motorists to pay extra caution and asked them to use low-beam lights, reduce speed, avoid overtaking, and leave a safe distance between vehicles. The Abu Dhabi Police have also warned road users against travelling on high-risk roads and to stop their vehicles at the curb until visibility improves.
With people expected to travel in large numbers over the public holiday to mark the birth anniversary of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), meteorologists have advised people to avoid driving late in the night at least for the next 48 hours.
“We see no major change in weather conditions and chances of fog and mist exist during the weekend,” said a weather forecaster. The national weather bureau also has the same fog forecast until Friday.
Ahmad Aqeel, a meteorologist in Al Ain, said condensation causes fog and mist with the fall in temperature at night. It mainly happens in the coastal and inland desert areas. High levels of humidity and calm wind conditions contribute to the development of fog, he said. “It’s a natural phenomenon and a feature of the winter season in the UAE,” he said, noting that fog has not created much of a problem this season so far.
Motorists on Al Ain-Abu Dhabi Road, Abu Dhabi-Dubai Road, Dubai’s Outer Bypass Road faced fog patches at almost blinding level. Thick fog was also reported from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain, Khalifa City, and Liwa.
Tuesday night was, however, the first foggy night for the residents of downtown Al Ain.
The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) reported a drop in visibility at different airports at around 3am.
The NCMS said weather will be fair during the next couple of days with a specific probability of fog in the northern emirates. Temperature will be mild during the daytime going to 25 degree Celsius at the max, and dropping down to 5 degree Celsius at night in some inland areas.
— With inputs from Bassma Al Jandaly, Senior Reporter and Sarah Algethami, Trainee