Dubai: Fog is expected to return in the next 24 hours following an exceptionally foggy Tuesday morning across the emirates, forecasters say.
Thousands of motorists struggled through almost zero visibility to reach offices and schools as dense fog covered roads.
Residents tell Radio 1 and 2 how the fog affected them:
There was slow-moving traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road, Al Khail Road, Business Bay Crossing and other key roads in Dubai.
Visibility level fell to below 50 metres, leading to several accidents on highways, causing traffic jams.
Though, no major accidents were reported, traffic was diverted when four vehicles crashed into each other on Emirates road at 8am. However, no injuries were reported.
Weatherman said the rise in humidity, low temperature and low wind speed at night helped fog to form over a major portion of the country. It started setting in at around midnight the western parts of Al Ain such as Suwaihan, and some eastern areas of Abu Dhabi including Al Khatam and Al Wathba. It gradually engulfed other areas spreading as far as Ajman.
The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) had issued a fog alert.
“Fog had covered everything and it was extremely difficult to drive at around 4am as roads and footpaths were barely visible,” said Sundeep Kumar, a driver in Abu Dhabi. He said fog was in patch on the Al Ain-Abu Dhabi Road and traffic was moving slow.
Similar conditions were faced by people in Dubai where Shaikh Zayed Road, Al Khail Road, Business Bay Crossing, Jebel Ali, and most of the surrounding areas were covered by thick fog. “Dense fog had almost stopped the traffic flow near Ghantoot, a place between Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” said Imtiaz Ahmad, an expatriate who was driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai at around 5am.
Traffic police in both the cities had switched on fog alerts on highways asking motorists to drive with care and maintain proper distance from vehicles ahead.
Officers at police helplines were on also alert to answer public queries.
Fog also covered most of northern emirates but no accidents were reported and traffic situation was relatively smoother.
The fog dissipated by mid-morning, however, there are chances of more fog forming later on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning, according to the NCMS.
The weather is expected to be fair for the rest of the day, with humidity levels expected to rise in the night.
The maximum temperature is expected to hit 25 degrees Celcius, with a minimum temperature of 5 degrees Celcius in some areas, according to NCMS.
With inputs from Florence Pia G. Yu, Web News Editor, Aftab Kazmi, Bureau Chief; Aghaddir Ali, Staff Reporter; and Bassma Al Jandaly, Senior Reporter