The United Arab Emirates
Image: Vehicles struggled to get through the water-logged roads in Sharjah.
Rains brought chaos to Dubai and the northern emirates on Tuesday morning as the weather department predicted thundershowers and lighting for the next 48 hours. Reports said major arteries of Dubai were choked with vehicles as residents began a rush to get to the office, a day after the city was shutdown because of a visit by US President George W. Bush.
DUBAI is experiencing ITS RAINIEST JANUARY ON RECORD, with 86 mm of rain having fallen by Tuesday afternoon. The previous record was 81.9 mm in the first month of the year.
The FREAK Gulf weather has claimed lives - Two people were killed in traffic accidents caused by rains in Dubai on Tuesday. 584 road accidents were reported on Tuesday. The Roads and Transport Authority said the possibility of the occurrence of traffic accidents is more than double during the rainy, windy and foggy weather. Motorists were urged to exercise utmost care and vigilance towards the surprises on the roads during the changeable weather conditions prevailing in the country these days. People across the Gulf faced torrential downpours and may soon see a RARE snowfall. In the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, residents said the temperature had fallen to below freezing level, increasing chances that it might snow, an event Saudis usually only see on television or during travels overseas. In some parts of the UAE, where shops usually do not even sell heaters, snow had been reported earlier in mountainous areas and relentless rain took the country by surprise over the past two days. Air conditioning units stopped, traffic lights went dead and emergency generators kicked into action as the effects took their toil. Cars were abandoned across the city as motorists realised they were unable to battle the depth of water on the roads. Rain leaked into many upstairs rooms from the balconies in The Springs and Meadows soaking curtains, rugs and personal possessions. The rains - caused by cold air moving into the upper atmosphere from the Northwest - began in the Jebel Ali area and by about 8.00am on Tuesday had moved into Dubai. Forecasters put out warnings for air, sea and road travel, with offshore winds expected to gust at up to 40 knots. "We'll see further rain and thunderstorms into Friday, and there could also be isolated showers on Saturday." By shortly after midday on Tuesday, meteorologists at Dubai International Airport had recorded 12.8 mm of rain. Many roads were flooded in the Emirate of Dubai, which attracts sun-hungry tourists with its year-round blue skies. Roofs in some luxury hotels and shopping malls were leaking water and several schools asked parents to keep their children home on Wednesday. Weather forecasts show that more rain is expected in many parts of the region until the end of the week.
Extreme Conditions Prevail in Middle East
A cold wave traveling from Siberia through Iran and Turkey has brought unseasonably cold weather to parts of the Middle East – dumping snow on deserts, causing havoc on roads, and resulting in the deaths of several people. Image: Snow dusts Saudi palm trees Thursday, Jan 10
A light dusting of snow fell in Baghdad this weekend in what weather officials said was the first time in a 100 years. Rare snowfalls were also recorded in the west and centre of Iraq, plunging temperatures to zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) and even colder.
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