Al Ain: Temperatures soared to almost 50 degrees Celsius in Sweihan at midday on Tuesday, as several parts of the country also recorded high temperatures, driving residents indoors.

The heat has risen in the last few days. Conditions outdoors become unbearable at around 1pm, reaching maximum temperatures between 3pm and 5pm.

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The hottest place in the country on Tuesday was Sweihan, a town some 70 kilometres west of Al Ain, where the maximum temperature was 49.6°C. It was 48.6C in Al Faqa, a town on the Dubai-Al Ain highway, and Hamim, 48.2°C in Madinat Zayed and Qattara district of Al Ain.

According to the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), the maximum temperature in Liwa was 47°C on Tuesday, 45°C in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, followed by 44°C in Dubai and 38°C in Fujairah.

The conditions were harsh in Al Ain, Liwa, Ras Al Khaimah, and other open and desert areas. Meteorologists said the actual heat in some open areas was around 52°C.

Explaining why the actual temperature differs from official reports, a weatherman said the measuring apparatus is placed under some specific shade to meet World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) standards. "This is what the Met departments around the world record and report," he said.
The temperature is always two to three degrees higher on the ground and constructed areas. "When actual temperature couples with high humidity, the severity of conditions increases, becoming uncomfortable for the human body," he said. The comfort level is currently very low in big cities such as Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

Streets and roads in all the cities are deserted in the afternoon. Air quality has also been suffering when the mercury goes up to maximum levels. Physicians say dust and heat have a severe impact on the air, which could trigger breathing problems for elderly people, children, and those with asthma.

The NCMS forecast said the hot and hazy weather will continue in the emirates in general. Some clouds may come over the eastern areas but with absolutely no chance of rain. Winds could get a little stronger, kicking up dust and sand in the open areas leading to reduced horizontal visibility.