Dubai: Motorists are urged to drive with caution on Tuesday as thick fog descended upon parts of the UAE for the second day in a row this month.
As the temperature dropped to 12.6 degrees C in certain parts of the country, dense fog covered scattered areas eary on Tuesday resulting in dozens of flights delayed and traffic accidents in Dubai.
By 1am on Tuesday, thick fog started blanketing scattered areas across the country. By 2am, the National Central for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) warned of poor visibility due to fog formation over the sea towards the west of the UAE.
As visibility dropped from 3am to 6am on Tuesday, more 70 inbound flights to Dubai were delayed, and an additional inbound 60 flights were delayed from 6am to 9am, according to Live Flights aviation tracker.
Most of the delays were for a period of a few minutes to two hours on Tuesday, such as Qantas flight QF009, which was expected to land at 6.30am, but arrived in Dubai at 8.34am, according to the Dubai Airports website.
Some inbound flights were also cancelled, but it's unclear if the heavy fog had caused the cancellations. At least 107 traffic accidents were recorded in Dubai on Monday.
“On Monday morning, thick fog covered almost all over the UAE, starting from the far north in Ras Al Khaimah to Dubai to Abu Dhabi and also between Abu Dhabi to Al Ain to the western region,” a forecaster from the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) told Gulf News.
“Visibility dropped to less than 100 metres in areas between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. In Liwa, it dropped to 50 metres.”
The forecaster said the same conditions will prevail over the UAE on Tuesday, and probably on Wednesday, especially in the northern UAE and between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, and interior areas in general.
“The UAE or the southeast part of the Gulf area is under the effect of high pressure in all the layers of the atmosphere, causing weather instability. Relative humidity is very high over land, causing a concentration of moisture and resulting in fog from early night until morning,” the forecaster said.
Several flights were delayed in Dubai due to the poor visibility. A spokesperson from Dubai Airports said: “Heavy fog is disrupting operations this [Monday] morning at Dubai International, resulting in delays of up to an hour on arriving and departing flights. Dubai Airports is working with airlines, air traffic control and control authorities to minimise customer inconvenience. Flight information is available on our website at www.dubaiairports.ae”
Emirates flights were also affected. In a statement, a spokesperson said: “Severe fog in Dubai on 05 December 2016 has caused the delay of some Emirates flights arriving at and departing from Dubai International Airport.”
Passengers are advised to check www.emirates.com for the latest information on their flights.
“Emirates apologises for the inconvenience caused. The safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance and will not be compromised,” the statement said.
The forecaster said more foggy days are to be expected at this time of the year as the season transitions to winter.
“Now the frequency of foggy conditions will increase during this period as the seasons change because the air mass over the country is cold, relative humidity is increasing and if you have a high pressure, there will be a good chance of fog.”
There is no significant change in temperature on Tuesday, but forecasters expect a gradual drop in temperature starting Wednesday night, especially if north-westerly wind coming from cold areas affect the country.