Rain in Dubai
Heavy rain began in Dubai at 3am on May 2, with the intensity of rainfall reducing by 4.30am. Image Credit: Rajeev Rathisan/Gulf News reader

Dubai: Heavy rain and thunderstorms hit Abu Dhabi and Dubai early on Thursday morning. Dubai residents woke up to strong winds. thunder and lightning at around 3am, earlier than expected according to the weather forecast.

While the intensitiy of rain decreased around 4.30am, more rain of different intesities is expected through the day.

The Met office issued an amber alert, indicating that rain-bearing clouds had covered most parts of the country.

Heavy rain was reported first in the Al Dhafra and Al Sila areas, far west of Abu Dhabi close to midnight.

By 1.30am, moderate to heavy rains were reported over western islands of Abu Dhabi, including Al Abyad Island, along with small hailstones in some areas.

Moderate rainfall with lighting and thunder was also reported in Mohammed Bin Zayed City and Al Shawamekh in Abu Dhabi around the same time.

By 2.30am, heavy rainfall with lightning and thunder was reported across most parts of Abu Dhabi. Due to strong winds the cloud cover quickly moved towards Dubai. 

At 3am, strong winds were reported by Dubai residents, and heavy rain with thunder and lightning was recorded in Jebel Ali, Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai Industrial City, Dubai Investments Park, and Jumeirah Village Triangle. 

Rain clouds over Downtown Dubai.
Rain clouds over Downtown Dubai Image Credit: Rosy Joseph/Gulf News reader

As clouds moved towards the eastern and southern parts of the country, other areas of Dubai recieved moderate to heavy rainfall by 3.30 to 4.30am, after which the intensity of rainfall decreased in Dubai.

Meanwhile, rain clouds also developed over Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah, and Ajman, causing light to moderate rain by 4am.

The National Center of Meteorology has asked residents to follow safety measures during rainy conditions.

"Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary. If necessary, drive with caution and remain vigilant and alert to ensure safety of all road users," the alert read. Adding a safety tip reminding motorists to turn on low-beam headlights when visibility is reduced.

In a previous update, the NCM clarified that the rains are expected to be "less severe", because this is a weaker weather situation as compared to the one on April 16. However, residents have been asked to watch out for adverse weather situations and avoid valleys and low-lying areas that are prone to flooding.