Intense storm leaves UAE deserts under blanket of hail

Intense storm leaves UAE deserts under blanket of hail

An intense hail storm struck parts of United Arab Emirates (UAE) on January 19, 2015 covering extensive stretches of desert country under a blanket of hail.

“This instability in the weather is because of the low pressure coming from the Mediterranean region, which intensified and affected the whole UAE and the region’s weather. It’s a dynamic system, which comes from the west to the east,” a weather forecaster at the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) told Gulf News.

NCMS said that images flooding social media websites claiming that snow has struck the UAE were incorrect and warned people to stay away from flowing water during a lightning storm as flooding began in parts of the country.

"Due to the intensity of the hail storm that struck parts of Abu Dhabi and continues to do so, it appears that it may have snowed. But what you see is intense hail," a spokesman for the NCMS said yesterday.

​With little or no storm drainage system in the nation’s streets, roads became impassable under the deluge of rain, AlArabiya reports

"The roads were hit by chaotic scenes with police recording more than 750 road smashes, and at least three people killed, as inexperienced motorists, unfamiliar with the dangers posed by slippery surfaces caused by high rainfall, failed to heed warnings."

The maximum rainfall yesterday was recorded in Jebel Jais. At 11:00 local time, their weather stations measured 46.4 mm.

Nadia Quraishi, 24, from Dubai, posted pictures and video online of hailstones in Sweihan, on Ajban Road. She was “completely astonished” by the weather, TheNational reports.

“It’s amazing since the UAE has not experienced this since 1993.”

Ms Quraishi said she was surprised because usually it begins to rain in October but hasn’t until now.

“We crave this because its 53 degrees [Celsius / 127.4 °F] in the summers, so yeah, cold weather is much-awaited.”

Forecasters say cloudy to partly cloudy skies with chances of rain are expected in some parts of the country on Tuesday, as well as a drop in temperatures. Strong winds may still reduce visibility.

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