Stock weather
Suspended dust across the UAE Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

UAE: Finding it hard to drive on the UAE roads over the last two days? People in the UAE experienced unusual dusty weather on Sunday and Monday. While there were no dust storms or sandstorms, there were dust particles constantly suspended in the air.

On Monday afternoon, the NCM issued a weather alert indicating that UAE will continue to see suspended dust till 8pm.

We spoke to Surour Aldurra, a senior weather forecaster at the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) to find out more about the current weather conditions, and till when they will last.

Suspended dust is different from a dust or sandstorm. There is not much wind, as you may have noticed, to support the movement of dust, he said.

Explaining the dusty weather, Aldurra said: "There is instability of weather in the country. The UAE is experiencing a deepened low pressure system, accompanied by a weak upper air low pressure system."

Last week, the NCM had predicted heavy rains, thunder and lightning across the country from August 14 to August 18. However, the NCM noticed a decrease in the severity of the low-pressure system. The system that was expected to extend to and reach the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula causing some precipitation, switched to the south and reached the area bordering Oman, he explained.

"As the system moved southward it did not have clouds or moisture. When it reached Oman, it supported dusty weather conditions over Oman, where visibility dropped to zero. The southeasterly flow of air caused the dust to be dragged to the UAE, where visibility was lowered to less than 1,000 metres in some areas, and to 2,000 metres in others," said the NCM official.

When will visibility improve?

"The situation is much better now, as compared to earlier in the day," Aldurra added.

"The situation will improve gradually over the next two days. After that, southerly winds may cause dust to blow across exposed areas, but the suspended dust situation will subside gradually."

Will it rain?

"There is still probability of convective clouds east of Al Ain and towards the south of the country. The weather system is creating a favourable time for convective clouds. Our radar shows clouds being formed out of the UAE border, around 20km away, in Oman.

"Within the UAE it is limited to a small area," he said, confirming that cloud seeding will follow if any convective clouds move over the UAE.