Home » Downpours in Dubai caused 2 years’ worth of rain in just one day

Downpours in Dubai caused 2 years’ worth of rain in just one day

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Downpours in Dubai caused 2 years’ worth of rain in just one day

The effects of climate change are being felt in Dubai with record rainfall that defies the region’s usual weather trends. (REUTERS/Rula Rouhana)

On Tuesday, Dubai was inundated by a series of downpours and submerged in flooding caused by two years’ worth of rain. Floods in recent days have caused at least 18 deaths in neighboring Oman.

Dubai, an Emirati city of several million inhabitants located on the shores of the Persian Gulf, about 800 km southeast of Kuwait, is located in an arid region, despite the abundant humidity, given its proximity to the muggy Persian Gulf. It only rains an average of a few centimeters a year.

The first rains on Tuesday, caused by a powerful area of ​​low pressure and cold air, fell before dawn and lasted throughout the day. At least 15 centimeters had officially fallen in Dubai as of Tuesday night, according to airport observations.

“For context, most of the city’s metropolitan area typically sees an average of 7.5 cm per year,” meteorologist Nahal Belgherze wrote in X. “This is truly a historic event for the area,” she added.

Much of the city was left with stagnant water that affected homes and businesses, thanks to the extreme rainfall that added several centimeters in a short period of time, leaving it with hardly any place to go in the flat, paved and sun-scorched area. . The downpours were accompanied by frequent lightning, and each new storm brought more water to already saturated places.

Landslides and road collapses were reported, and more than 20 cm of rain fell in some places, local media reported. Bus services and metro lines were delayed. Teleworking and distance learning have been extended through Wednesday due to travel issues.

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Heavy rains and floods paralyzed Dubai airports and roads

Al Jazeera reported that water tankers had been deployed on streets and highways to help evacuate standing water. Up to 30 centimeters of water have fallen in some parts of the region. And it was noticed.

At Dubai International Airport, the planes looked like giant hovercrafts, their jet engines exploding the 30 centimeters of water that covered much of the runway, leaving a thick fog in their wake.

Late Tuesday, airport officials reported issues related to flooding that had briefly disrupted operations earlier in the day. “We are temporarily diverting arriving flights this afternoon until weather conditions improve. The exits will continue to operate,” they wrote in X.

Dubai International Airport led the world‘s airports in delays and cancellations, with hundreds of each, according to FlightAware.com, a flight-tracking website. FlyDubai had seen more than 50% of its flights canceled during the day. Late in the afternoon, the airline ended all flights to or from the airport until Wednesday morning.

Vehicles and public transport faced serious difficulties due to the accumulation of water on the streets of Dubai. (Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

Although it is the rainy season in Dubai, this year has been wetter than usual, and research and observation trends have shown that extreme rainfall is increasingly likely in a warming world. Cases of historic rainfall mixed with extensive and deep droughts have become common throughout the planet.

The National Meteorological Center maintains the orange alert due to the risk of additional rain until 6:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday. Rain is possible across the area over the next day, but will be concentrated near the coast of Oman as well as parts of Iran and Pakistan. Drier conditions will make cleaning tasks easier.

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The Washington Post

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