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January 12, 2020

Heavy rains hit Dubai, snow covers Tabuk

Top Story

January 12, 2020

DUBAI/TABUK: Heavy showers have not only disturbed the flow of traffic on the roads but air-traffic too is disrupted in the United Arab Emirates.

Flights at the Dubai International Airport witnessed delays on Saturday with some cancellations due to flooding in parking bays of airplanes. Airlines flying to Dubai and flights from Dubai to Pakistan, India, Europe and North America are also affected. Heavy rain with strong winds lashed the Emirate on Saturday early morning and this has disrupted flight operations.

Flights bound to various cities of Pakistan also experienced delays around three to six hours. The passengers were also stuck for hours who had landed on Dubai airport to take their connecting flights but the flooding didn’t allow the airplanes to fly.

Pakistani private airline Airblue PA614 landed in Dubai airport afternoon but the passengers couldn’t come out of the plane for more than 4 hours as the flooding in Dubai airport didn’t give space to the plane to park and unload the aircraft.

Around five flights of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) bound to Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad also experienced delays from Dubai airport.

Airport authorities said that there was a severe crisis at the Dubai airport for getting parking spots for planes. Due to lack of parking bays at the world’s busiest, it was even very difficult to refuel the planes.

The National Centre of Meteorology sent out an alert warning residents to be extremely vigilant. The centre forecast "hazardous weather events of exceptional severity" with thunder, heavy rain in the Northern Emirates and eastern areas of the UAE.

A UAE government said that Dubai International Airport (DXB) was "experiencing operational disruptions" due to the bad weather. "Flight delays are expected to continue throughout the day with some cancellations and diversions to Dubai World Central," he said, adding that the government was trying its best with service partners to ensure full operations were resumed.

As several commuters remained stranded on the airports, the government advised citizens to use the metro in Dubai to avoid traffic snarls.

"Unusually heavy rain has hit Dubai, with rainfall reaching 150 mm/hour for 2.5 hours, according to preliminary reports, resulting in water ponds in some areas of the Emirate and traffic diversions," tweeted the Dubai Media Office.

Service and vehicle inspection centres, and driving institutes were shut in the city owing to the heavy rains. The National Centre of Meteorology warned citizens to be extremely vigilant and said rains could continue in the city for the next two days.

Meanwhile, Tabuk region, north of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has witnessed, since “Friday”, snowfall due to a severe air depression, concentrated on Syrian territory.

According to weather news in the Kingdom, snow fell in some northern centers of the Tabuk region, especially the centers affiliated to the Haql field, such as Jabal Al-Luz and Dahr Alqan, reported foreign media on Saturday.

The Arab Weather website said that the Alqan region in Tabuk, near the border with Jordan, witnessed the snow that had accumulated on the ground and covered it with white colour. The region is hit by an air depression, concentrated inside the Syrian territories, which is classified within the third degree, and accompanied with a cold to extremely cold and moist air mass in all layers of the atmosphere.

The Saudi Meteorology and Environment Agency, in its report on the weather on Friday, expected rainy clouds to form in the areas of (Tabuk, Medina, Al-Jawf, the northern borders and Hail), while thunderstorms continue to affect parts of the eastern region and southwestern highlands of the country, as they are active.

The authority said that it “does not exclude light snowfall on the heights of Tabuk, especially Jabal al-Luz, Alqan and Al-Dhar.