Dubai: Scattered rains, hail and wind gusts cloaked the country on Friday pelting coastal and inland areas with an unusual summer storm fed by low-lying clouds.
Heavy rain in some places created ponds in neighbourhoods and made road travel difficult reducing visibility at times through a grey pall of misty conditions.
Trees and road signs took a beating as they swayed in high wind gusts that made walking uncomfortable for pedestrians caught in downpours which drenched the country well into the evening on Friday.
Around 5pm, the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) upgraded a rain warning advising that moderate to strong rain will continue until 10pm.
“Poor visibility less than 2,000m due to blowing dust and dust suspension over the coastal and internal areas will take place between 5.30-7pm on Friday,” said the NCM. Dr Ahmad Habib, a senior forecaster at the national weather centre, told Gulf News that the formation of convective clouds started in the eastern areas of the UAE and has extended to the internal areas such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“We can expect similar weather and rain to continue in the internal parts of the UAE until tomorrow (Saturday),” said Habib.
The weather centre announced heavy rain in Al Khawaneej area of Dubai on Friday, moderate rain on Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, and light to moderate rain over Deira and Al Ghusais.
The rain event created ponds in communities such as Mirdif and Dubai International City while strong winds tipped over sun shades of parking lot in some residential areas.
The weather bureau based in Abu Dhabi called for caution when driving as low visibility is predicted to continue throughout the weekend.
“Southeasterly to Northeasterly winds with speed 20–30km/h, reaching 45km/h at times with clouds, will cause blowing of dust and sand and therefore, poor horizontal visibility,” said the bureau.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai also issued a road warning shortly after 5pm on Friday asking drivers to use extra caution when travelling in the emirate.
“For your safety, we call upon all drivers to be cautious while driving in several areas of Dubai due to the strong winds and rain.”
Maximum temperatures on Friday ranged from 40 degree Celsius to 47C in coastal areas, 43C to 49C in internal areas and 33C to 39C in the mountain region.
The national weather bureau said Saturday will once again see high temperatures during the daytime with hazy weather.
“The amount of clouds will increase over scattered areas on Saturday with a chance of rain and convective clouds formation by the afternoon in the eastern areas, extending over some internal and southern areas,” said the NCM.