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06 December 2023

Sandstorm hits UAE: 48-hour alert; Dubai rain forecast

By Bindu Rai

The UAE awoke this morning to a severe sandstorm, with strong winds blowing up sand and dust.

Social media messages were going out early with commuters and officials urging motorists to drive carefully.

Rainfall is also expected today and tomorrow across parts of the UAE, with the wet weather also blowing in fresh winds that will raise dust and sand over open areas and reduce visibility.

Dust storm reduces the visibility of motorists on Dubai roads. Photo by Ahmad Ardity

The country's weather bureau has warned that visibility will be further dampened by the onset of early morning and late night fog, with Wednesday being particularly significant in the western internal areas of the UAE.

The National Center for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has said that the change in weather will also bring about a noticeable drop in the mercury, blowing in the chill after last week's spike in temperatures.

Motorist drives through a dust storm at Al Khail road in Dubai . Photo by Patrick Castillo

Dust storm in Dubai . Photo by Patrick Castillo

Elaborating on the wet conditions, the NCMS said‎: "Wednesday morning will see rainfall in parts, with the cloud amount increasing at times, especially to the north and the east, with a chance of some rain to extend over internal areas till Thursday morning."

The partly cloudy and dusty weather will also mark a drop in temperatures to the west of the country, with the overcast climate ready to clear by Thursday afternoon.

"The relative humidity will increase over internal and coastal areas during the night and early morning time, with the probability of fog‎ over western internal areas, on Wednesday in specific,” the NCMS added.

The weather bureau has issued a warning for drivers to proceed with caution owing to the drop in visibility due to fog and rain, along with fishermen and surfers being warned of rough seas over the next 48 hours, especially the Arabian Gulf and the Oman Sea.