Visibility to reduce further, UAE met dept cautions

Abu Dhabi: The UAE National Centre of Meteorology has updated the weather alert from “be aware,” “to be prepared,” urging residents to be prepared for hazardous weather events.

The status of the weather alert was changed on NCM’s social media channels after 2pm on Sunday following the forecast that visibility due to dust storm prevailing in the country will be reduced to less than one kilometer, forecasters said.

“Widespread dust storm and poor visibility will continue until tomorrow. We expect the visibility to be poor by evening today. It will be less than one kilometer and even half a kilometre at times,” Mohammad Al Khajeh, weather forecaster told Gulf News.

He said the south easterly and south westerly fresh winds are causing the dust to blow high and reducing visibility.

“Also we have widespread dust suspension coming from the north eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula. The wind will change direction to north easterly by evening time. It will bring more dust to the UAE.”

Though the dusty and hazy conditions are expected to last until the end of the week, he said the visibility will improve by Monday evening.

Widespread dust suspension has been reported over the seas, just like in the land, as well.

The forecaster said rough sea warning has been issued till Monday evening. “Fishermen have already been cautioned as the visibility is low. We may extend the warning depending on the visibility.”

He urged motorists to exercise caution while driving and people with breathing difficulties to remain indoors unless it is necessary to go out on Sunday and Monday.

However, no warning was issued against opening schools on Monday. “Schools can open. But they need to take extra care and keep the windows and doors closed and help students to avoid being exposed to dust storm.”

Flights disrupted

Meanwhile, operations of some flights were disrupted at the Dubai International Airport due to the poor weather conditions, the airport said in a statement to Gulf News by 2:45pm on Sunday.

“Normal operations at Dubai International (DXB) were disrupted due to the weather conditions today, with two inbound flights diverted to Fujairah airport. Dubai Airports is working with airlines and other service partners to minimise inconvenience to passengers and normalise operations,” it stated.

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