Mercury falls to 4°C as sand and winds bring Dubai to a crawl

High levels of dust in the air due to southerly winds coming from Saudi Arabia

Morning traffic on Dubai roads ground to a near-standstill as heavy southerly winds kicked up a huge dust and stand storm.

Click here to see a photogallery of the sandstorm sweeping across the Gulf right now

There were no reports of any mishaps at the time of writing this report, but vehicles were moving at a crawl.

Temperatures are set to dip to 4°C in the country’s mountainous regions, and to 7°C in internal regions while they will hit a low of 13°C in coastal areas.

The UAE weatherman is warning of poor visibility on the roads and high levels of dust in the air due to southerly winds coming from Saudi Arabia.

“Be on the lookout if you go in for outdoor activities which may involve risks in the event of bad weather forecast from time to time,” says a warning issued by the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS).

“This southern fresh wind is expected to be followed by northerly relatively cold, fresh and strong winds at times over the sea on Sunday morning. Their impact will begin with the morning especially over the west coast, then extend gradually to other areas, accompanied by a gradual decrease in temperature.

This northerly wind will cause the sea to be rough and very rough specifically on next Monday,” NCMS said in its latest weather forecast report.

Additionally, the NCMS is forecasting that temperatures in the UAE are set to fall to 4°C today after reaching a low of 5°C yesterday. The weather will remain hazy in general, predicts the weatherman, with chances of light rain over some northern areas.

The UAE’s weather forecast for the day reads: “Hazy weather with fresh to strong winds during the morning, and partly cloudy in general, becoming cloudy at times over the northern, the eastern areas, and some islands, with a chance of some rain over those areas.

“Wind is southerly at first, then the northwesterly winds will start affecting the western areas, and gradually extend towards rest of the areas, with a fall in day temperatures. Winds will be fresh to strong, especially over the sea and the internal openland areas, causing blowing dust/sand, and reducing the horizontal visibility. Sea is rough in general.”

According to a statement by the NCMS, UAE residents and tourists should “take precaution on the roads due to the expected bad horizontal visibility.” Asthmatics and other with breathing difficulties are being advised to avoid exposure to the dusty air.

The UAE’s weather forecast for the day reads: “Hazy weather in general, cloud amounts will increase gradually over coastal and northern areas by evening and night. Chance of light rain over some northern areas.”

It adds: “Day temperatures are likely to increase significantly, especially over western areas. Moderate to fresh southerly winds over most of internal areas by afternoon, causing blowing sand / dust, reducing horizontal visibility over internal and openland areas. Moderate to rough sea in general.”

The forecast also warns that the seas could turn rough and winds may reach a speed of up to 60km per hour at times in internal areas. Beachgoers are advised not to swim in the sea as it is expected to be rough.

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