Authorities predict more showers

A motorist driving through a flooded street in Sharjah. Strong winds and sandstorms are expected to lash the UAE until the weekend. (CHANDRA BALAN)

Meteorological authorities in the UAE yesterday dispelled rumours of a major storm or cyclone or any such rain-related disaster affecting the country. However, the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) in Abu Dhabi did predict rain and thunderstorms across parts of the UAE for another two days.

Heavy rains are being caused by shamal winds and are normal for March, according to the NCMS and the Dubai Meteorological Office. But while more storms are forecast, they dismissed rumours of any cyclone hitting the country. E-mails spreading such rumours have been causing panic.

The next two days will be stormy and cloudy with chances of intense local flooding, thunderstorms and strong winds. An NCMS regular bulletin said many companies have advised their staff to go home early to avoid getting stuck in traffic or storms.

The bulletin added: "Unsettled weather conditions over the country. The amount of clouds will increase gradually over different areas associated with towering clouds, and rain over scattered areas may be heavy at times during evening and night. With strong winds gusting at times, sand and dust will blow reducing horizontal visibility over open areas and rough seas in general. February has been one of the wildest months in the UAE climatic calendar due to the regular winter shamals that bring occasional showery conditions to the southern Gulf."

The Dubai Meteorological Office has warned that the rainy and stormy weather conditions will continue for the next two days and sunny weather is not likely to return to the UAE until Thursday or Friday.

The department's forecast said: "Average maximum temperatures rise to around 28 Celsius in March, however, winter weather patterns continue to affect the area.

"This combination means that a more abundant supply of energy is available for the development of cloud and storms should the correct combination of meteorological features exist.

"March is, therefore, often a very changeable month when Dubai can experience a wide range of weather phenomena," it added.

March has the highest expected number of rainy days, six on average and up to 18 in the past, as well as the most frequent occurrence of thunderstorms. Average rainfall for the month is 21mm but has been as high as 155 mm in the past.

Quick Aid for Al Qua affected

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of Red Crescent Authority (RCA), has ordered rapid aid be provided to families affected by the recent rains in Al Qua area.

Mohamed Khalifa Ahmed Al Qimzi, Secretary-General, RCA, said the authority has intensified efforts to provide immediate help through its branch in Al Ain and the Al Qua office by distributing essential aid that includes tents, blankets and food parcels to meet urgent needs of about 200 families in the region.

He said that preliminary reports suggested that some houses damaged as a result of strong winds and rain required immediate rehabilitation. (Wam)

 

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