Drivers and residents in United Arab Emirates (UAE) warned ahead of the upcoming storm by the Ministry of Internal Issues. By Ritika Dixit

Heavy rainfall and storms have struck the desert nation. Due to the predictions of unstable weather conditions and low visibility, the UAE authorities have urged all residents to observe traffic rules and follow weather updates. The residents have also been advised against visiting wadis, and avoid crossing through valleys. Several UAE roads were closed or diverted due to heavy rainfall. On Wednesday, schools were also shut due to the weather forecast of heavy rain, lightning and dusty winds. Colleges and universities in the emirates were given the discretionary power to decide whether they will stay open or closed.

Temperatures in the emirates are expected to see a drop as well. The expected minimum temperature in Dubai is 23 degree Celsius, 22 degrees Celsius in Abu Dhabi and a prediction of 19 degree Celsius in Liwa. The lashing downpour on the waterlogged city roads has brought traffic to a standstill, and has also led to leakages and damages inside The Dubai Mall — Dubai’s largest luxury shopping mall, causing streams of water to enter the shops and parking areas.

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The UAE is one of the driest countries in the world, thus, the operations of cloud seeding, which was undertaken hours before the rains unleashed, may be seen as the trigger for heavy rainfall. According to reports, the cloud seeding will continue only in case of favourable weather conditions. It also depends on the availability of any more clouds that can be potentially seeded.

The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) has also predicted a storm approaching from the north-west region of the Gulf with Dubai and Abu Dhabi in its path. Motorists and citizens employed at on-field jobs are cautioned to be alert due to predictions of blowing dust, sand and, in turn reduction of visibility to very poor levels.

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