UAE | Weather

Strong winds will ebb but continue to kick up dust in UAE

Meteorology office warns of high waves and poor visibility

  • By Aftab Kazmi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 22:00 March 4, 2012
  • Gulf News

A worker covers his face to protect himself against the heavy wind and sand storm in Dubai
  • Image Credit: Asghar Khan/Gulf News
  • A worker covers his face to protect himself against the heavy wind and sand storm in Dubai.
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Al Ain: The flow of gusty Shamal (north-westerly) winds is likely to start decreasing on Monday across the emirates but the sea will continue to be rough in general and unfit for small vessels, the national weather bureau said.

The storm was raging in the Arabian Gulf, particularly around the UAE islands, generating around 14-feet-high waves Sunday and on Saturday.

Life on mainland UAE was also difficult as the wind was kicking up dust and sand and forcing people to stay indoors.

Persistent low pressure

The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) repeated its weather alert several times for those travelling by sea and motorists as visibility was poor on highways, particularly those traversing desert and open areas.

Strong winds reportedly battered ships and vessels and lashed across the shores of UAE islands since Saturday afternoon. High waves also reached the western coastal areas of the country.

According to the NCMS, the current bad weather was due to the influence of a persistent low pressure over the north and east of Iran and an extension of high pressure coming from the northwest (northern and central Saudi Arabia). "The conditions were really bad around the Zirku and Zakhum Islands," a forecaster said, adding that winds had a speed of 66 to 70 kilometre/hour.

Similar conditions were reported from Arzanah Island with some 12-feet-high waves on Sunday and also on Saturday.

People, however, enjoyed the sudden but significant drop in temperature.

Addy Ali, a Gulf News reader from Sharjah, advised people: "Look at the brighter side of the picture. People, we are witnessing a cold wave in March now that happens very rarely. So enjoy the weather and drive safely!"

‘Just enjoying'

K. Fernandes, a Dubai resident, said: "Just enjoying the weather and making the most of it before summer kicks in... Stop grumbling people!"

Another Dubai resident said: "What seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime experience last Sunday, is turning out to be a weekly instalment of Ghost Protocol."

According to the NCMS, weather will be partly cloudy on Monday, with the wind speed likely to decrease but there are chances of dust and sand kicking up, particularly in open land areas.

Humidity will also increase in some internal areas by night and early in the morning.

Sea will continue to be rough with six- to 10-feet-high waves offshore.

Health concerns

Health experts said an unusually prolonged dry spell has been taking its toll on public health and repeated dust and sand storms are further compounding the situation. Throat and chest infections are common among people, as virus and other microorganisms travel along with the dust clouds from one place to another.

Dr Riaz Ahmad Minhas, an internal medical specialist at Emirates Clinic and Medical Services Centre in Al Ain, said suspended dust in the air has been affecting young and elderly people with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other lung conditions.

"They need to stay indoors and keep their medicines with them while travelling outdoors," he said.

Comments (1)

  1. Added 14:05 March 5, 2012

    ..ebb..couldn't find a better word for the title?

    fadi, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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