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03 December 2023

48 hours of ‘unstable’ weather in UAE

Heavy fog and low visibility on major roads in Abu Dhabi this morning.(Twitter)

By Bindu Rai

As the final dredges of the Monday morning fog clears away from the inland areas of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and parts of the northern emirates, residents of the UAE should now square themselves for the ‘unstable weather’ that lies ahead.

The UAE’s National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has confirmed a low-pressure system moving in from the northeast will give rise to thunderstorms by late Tuesday and most of Wednesday, with rough seas in the Arabian Gulf also prompting a marine warning.

The weather system will also affect neighbouring Oman, which has prompted the country’s Met office to also issue a warning to its residents.

“An air trough from the northeast in the upper atmosphere will give rise to unstable weather from Tuesday evening, with a chance of thunderstorms in the northeast part of the UAE,” an NCMS spokesperson told Emirates 24|7.

“By Wednesday, the cloud cover will increase further, with the triangular area between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, along with the surrounding eastern inland region, also expected to experience rainfall.”

While the NCMS has not ruled out rainfall stretching across most of the UAE, the weather bureau stated due to the low-pressure system’s instability, the intensity of the storm could vary across areas, with Ajman already experiencing the first drops of rainfall on Sunday.

However, planes will remain on standby on Tuesday and Wednesday to facilitate the rainfall further with cloud seeding, NCMS added.

Foggy climes ahead

In the lead up to the stormy weather, the UAE has been affected by a spike in humidity levels, giving way to early morning fog on Monday in the western inland areas, along with reduced visibility due to mist in the west until Wednesday.

On Monday morning, heavy fog and low visibility conditions were reported on major roads in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, also prompting an alert by the Ministry of Interior.

The authority tweeted on its official account: "Low visibility due to fog in different areas in Abu Dhabi. We call on drivers to proceed with caution."

Heavy fog had descended late Sunday night, shrouding parts of Madinat Zayed, Liwa, Sweihan, Al Ain and even extended towards Dubai’s Al Maktoum International and parts of Sharjah, according to the NCMS.

Its spokesperson further explained: “A gradual increase in temperatures, ranging between one and two degrees, will also be experienced until Tuesday, following which, the weather is expected to cool off following the rainfall.”

Meanwhile, a marine warning has also been issued, which will come into effect from Tuesday evening with accelerated winds over the northern coast of the Arabian Gulf and last until Wednesday.

The Oman Sea will also be rough at time, with increased convective clouds on Thursday.

Residents of Oman are also bracing for stormy climes, with the Al Hajjar Mountains belt that extends into the neighbouring country also set to experience heavy rainfall.

Earlier reports:


The Sharjah Centre for Astronomy and Space Sciences (Sharjah Planetarium) has forecast unstable weather, marked by thunderstorms in the UAE from Tuesday to Friday this week, ‘Al Bayan’ newspaper reports.

The centre indicated this on its official Twitter account, adding that February is witnessing the change to Spring, which lasts until end-April.   

The centre stressed that the cold weather will continue and rainfall will also continue till the last week of February.

Weekend: Rain, 12-foot waves

Forecast for Friday, February, 12:  Strong northwesterly winds will bring rain to parts of the UAE in the early hours of Friday, with 12-foot waves prompting the country’s Met Office to issue a marine alert for the Arabian Gulf and the Oman Sea.

The system is gradually expected to dissipate over the weekend, with the UAE’s National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) stating the weather should clear by noon on Sunday.

Speaking to Emirates 24|7, a spokesperson for the NCMS stated: “The strong northwesterly winds that took effect on Thursday night would bring light rain in the early hours of Friday morning over the western parts of the UAE, with wind speeds over the sea reaching highs of 65kms per hour.

“A marine warning has been issued for the Arabian Gulf with very rough seas and wave height reaching highs of 12 feet or so; the Oman Sea will also be rough over this period, with the water body calming by late Saturday.”

The spokesperson for the NCMS further stated: “The weather on Friday will remain partly cloudy over parts of the UAE, with rising humidity levels giving way to a slim chance of early morning fog over the western internal areas such as Al Ain.

“The weather on Saturday will follow in similar pattern, with the temperatures gradually dropping by a degree or so.”