Hail was reported in various parts of Abu Dhabi; rain and lightning and thunder in Dubai.
Hail was reported in various parts of Abu Dhabi; rain and lightning and thunder in Dubai. Image Credit: @storm_ae/Instagram

Dubai: Many Dubai residents woke up to loud thunderclaps and lightning, early on Monday morning, at around 3.45am, as moderate to heavy rainfall fell across the emirate. Meanwhile, heavy rain and hail was reported in various parts of Abu Dhabi.

According the Met office, hail was recorded in the Al Dhafrah region, Al Wathba, Mohamed Bin Zayed City, and Sweihan in Al Ain, between 3.36am and 5.15am.

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Rain in UAE

The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) issued an orange weather alert indicating unstable weather to continue across the UAE, with rainy clouds covering most parts of the UAE till 6pm, today.

"Convective clouds, associated with rainfall of different intensities with lightning, thunder, hail and strong winds over some internal and coastal areas, from 4am until 6pm on Monday, February 12," an NCM alert read.

Convective clouds, which look similar to cotton balls piled on top of one another, are ideal for cloud seeding. The NCM monitors these clouds as they move over the country and dispatches cloud seeding flights , in order to maximise rainfall over the country.

According to an NCM spokesperson, the intensity of rain will decrease by afternoon, and chance of rain will decrease by tonight. 

This period of unstable weather is being caused as a result of "an extension of an upper air depression, accompanied by a cold air mass, and a westerly air currents, with different amounts of clouds flowing over the country from the West," according to the NCM.

"As a result of a gradual deepening of the upper air depression, the amount of clouds increase over separate areas," the forecast added.

Remote work and classes

Rains prompted advisories on remote work for private and public sectors, and online classes across the UAE, on Monday.

Monday (February 12) will be a day of remote work and distance learning across government departments and schools, even as private companies and schools have been granted the flexibility to exercise the option.

The UAE Cabinet announced on Sunday that February 12 will be a remote work day for all federal government employees. The decision excludes those in roles that require them to be physically present at their workplaces.

Employees of all Dubai government entities will work remotely on Monday, February 12, it was announced on Saturday. The directive came from Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.

The Ministry of Education on Sunday announced that all federal higher education institutions will transition to remote learning on Monday, February 12.

Private schools, nurseries and universities in Dubai have been urged to be flexible with their policy governing in-person attendance of students, and exercise the option of distance learning if deemed necessary on Monday, February 12, owing to unstable weather conditions. A message to this effect was issued by Dubai’s education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), over the weekend.

The Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) on Sunday announced the shift to distance education in “all educational institutions in the emirate”.

Motorists and residents advised to exercise caution

Road and public service departments across the seven emirates have issued multiple safety advisories for residents living in flood-prone areas, and motorists driving in rain-affected areas.

In a warning on social media, the Directorate of Traffic and Security Patrols of Abu Dhabi Police, urged adherence to the speed limit (which will be reduced during rain), maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles (especially with the expected drop in visibility), avoiding breaking hard, and slowing down significantly while turning to avoid sliding.

The Ras Al Khaimah Public Service Department (RAKPSD) shared official numbers for residents to contact in case of emergency. "To report any emergency, you can contact us via 8008118," the RAKPSD announced in an Instagram post.

Temperatures to dip today and tomorrow

Temperatures, on Monday, will dip by 2 to 4°C across most parts of the country, especially in Dubai, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah.

Temperature highs will be around 22 to 25°C in the coastal regions of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, RAK, UAQ, and Fujairah. Dubai will see maximum temperatures close to 20°C, according to the NCM.

Temperature lows will be between 15 to 19°C. Minimum temperatures will be below 4°C in mountainous parts of the country.

A further dip is expected on Tuesday, according to a previous NCM forecast. However, rain is not expected tomorrow, according to the NCM.