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20 May 2024

Thundershowers ease, but Dubai traffic still jammed

By Bindu Rai

The ‘unstable’ weather over the last 24 hours has finally eased up on Tuesday, with thunderstorms easing off to bring in some sunshine to residents that have been trapped in their morning commutes across the country due to waterlogging and road accidents.

The UAE’s National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has stated the weather will remain partly cloudy later today and tomorrow, with the rain easing off by late afternoon.

The NCMS further stated for Wednesday: “The weather will remain partly cloudy to fair in general, with moderate to light winds over land, and fresh to moderate over the sea.

“The sea will be rough to moderate in the Arabian Gulf, and moderate to slight in the Oman Sea”

However, even as the rain lets off, the relative humidity will increase during night with a chance of mist and fog hindering visibility further.

A similar weather pattern is expected to continue on Thursday.

Traffic continues

By afternoon, Tuesday, commuters still found themselves trapped in waterlogged streets across Dubai, with the worse hit being E66, with its underpasses flooded with water, along with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.

Residents have also alerted of traffic jams around Tecom and Dubai Media City due to flooding, while parts of Discovery Gardens also remains under water.

Dubai Airports, which earlier confirmed seven flights were diverted last night due to the weather, has announced more delays expected today.


Dubai Airports has confirmed seven flights were diverted last night due to the weather, with more delays expected today.

The weather bureau for the UAE reports moderate to heavy rainfall over Sweihan and adjoining areas in Abu Dhabi this morning.

Morning commuters complain about hour-long delays on major highways across the UAE today, as waterlogged streets slow down traffic.

Around 9.15am the situation continued with Jo tweeting: “Unbelievable traffic coming out of Dubai Silicon Oasis and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road heading from Dubai to Al Ain exit.”

Nazih Fares said: “Do not take Al Ain Road towards Dubai. Traffic jam all the way from Outlet Mall. Alternate towards Bypass Road if you can.”

Further up on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road are reports of flooding in Al Barari.

Pic credit: Khaja Mohideen

Sunita tweeted of a similar situation on Sheikh Zayed Road, saying: “Traffic nightmare near interchange five getting into Dubai Media City. All five lanes blocked.”

The situation at the Greens Community Roundabout and Discovery Gardens remains similar, with uprooted trees in the latter and debris on the roads adding to the traffic situation.

Several parts of the UAE remains flooded, with reports coming in from commuters that E66, near Dubai Silicon Oasis, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Arabian Ranches and Dubai International City are the worst hit.

Pockets of waterlogging also reported in Dubai Studio City, Motor City and Al Quoz Industrial Area.

Earlier, residents were reporting that the traffic lights at DIP roundabout were not functioning, while the stretch to Hessa Street remained underwater in large parts.

Heavy showers on outskirts of Dubai are being reported.

Roundabouts at Arabian Ranches are flooded and traffic is moving very slowly.

A truck has overturned on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, near the Fruits and Vegetable market, heading towards Sharjah. Pockets of the highway also slow moving due to waterlogging; similar situation at the Arabian Ranches roundabout.

Pic credit: Waqar Muhammad Aslam


Residents woke up to a second day of gloomy, overcast skies with a lightning storm streaking across parts of the UAE well into the morning hours of Tuesday.
The country’s weather bureau expects the wet weather to ease up late today, even as a marine warning stays in force until midday Wednesday for the Arabian Gulf and the Oman Sea.

Click to see: Video: Hail storms snowy fascination of UAE residents

The National Center for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) for the UAE stated: "Rainfall will continue over northern and eastern areas. Areas may experience thunder at times with fresh winds and blowing dust and reducing visibility."

With the increased cloud cover, the NCMS has also warned for another drop in temperatures with lows of 13 degrees Celsius in the internal areas of the country, while the mountains could dip to five degrees or less.

The 'unstable' weather pattern, which struck UAE late Sunday night, blew in a freak hail storm that swept across the desert landscape of Sweihan, Al Abjan and Nahil in Abu Dhabi, turning the desert white, with residents commenting it had snowed in the capital.
Commuters in Al Ain city also experienced hail driving down E66 to Dubai, even as parts of the country remained waterlogged, as police authorities in the northern emirates assembled emergency crew to the streets to assist with the traffic and warn people of flash flooding near the wadis.
The NCMS recorded over 38.2mm of rainfall ‎at Jabal Jais on Monday, with wind speeds across the country rising to 65kmph, while waves in the Arabian Gulf peaked at 12 feet.

Pic credit: Khaja Mohideen

Meanwhile, scores of traffic accidents were recorded across the UAE, with authorities appealing to residents to drive carefully with their headlights on and choosing to stop their vehicles in a safe place if visibility drops due to the rain.
In Abu Dhabi, one person died and three others were injured resulting from seven separate accidents that the police stated were a direct result of driving inefficiently in such weather conditions.

Meanwhile, a car caught fire in Dubai yesterday during the mid-morning commute on Sheikh Zayed Road, while another person reportedly died when his vehicle overturned on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.