What caused unusual rainfall in desert city of Dubai leading to floods? | World News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

What caused unusual rainfall in desert city of Dubai leading to floods?

Apr 17, 2024 12:16 PM IST

The UAE government issued warnings ahead of the heavy rains, urging people to stay at home and only leave “in cases of extreme necessity.”

Heavy rainfall on Tuesday brought the desert city of Dubai to a standstill and flooded portions of its major highways and international airport. Operations at the Dubai airport were suspended for 25 minutes in the afternoon before resuming. 

Cars drive through a flooded street during a rain storm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 16, 2024.(Reuters)
Cars drive through a flooded street during a rain storm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 16, 2024.(Reuters)

Visuals shared on social media showed planes taxiing across the airport flooded with standing water.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

According to the Associated Press, which cited the meteorological data collected at Dubai International Airport, the city received a year and a half's worth of rain within 24 hours.

The rains began late Monday, soaking the sands and roadways of Dubai with some 20 millimetres (0.79 inches) of rain. It further intensified on Tuesday and by the end of the day, more than 142 millimetres (5.59 inches) of rainfall had soaked Dubai. An average year sees 94.7 millimetres (3.73 inches) of rain at Dubai International Airport.

Also Read | Dubai flood: Luxury malls flooded, water enters Chanel, Fendi stores as rain batters city

The UAE government had issued warnings ahead of the heavy rains, urging people to stay at home and only leave “in cases of extreme necessity.” It later announced remote working until Wednesday for all federal employees.

What caused the heavy rainfall in Dubai?

According to CNN, the rain that plunged Dubai underwater is associated with a larger storm system traversing the Arabian Peninsula and moving across the Gulf of Oman.

This same system is also bringing unusually wet weather to nearby Oman and southeastern Iran. At least 18 people have died in recent days as the heavy rains caused flooding in Oman.

People look out at floodwater covering a major road in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, April 17, 2024.(AP)
People look out at floodwater covering a major road in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, April 17, 2024.(AP)

Friederike Otto, a leader in the field of assessing the role of climate change on specific extreme weather events, however, also attributed global warming as behind the unusual rainfall.

"It is highly likely that the deadly and destructive rain in Oman and Dubai was made heavier by human-caused climate change," Otto, of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, told AFP.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that the heavy rains stemmed partly from cloud seeding.

The UAE started cloud seeding operations in 2002 to address water security issues. The technique involves implanting chemicals and tiny particles — often natural salts such as potassium chloride — into the atmosphere to coax more rain from clouds.

Ahmed Habib, a specialist meteorologist, told Bloomberg that seeding planes carried out seven missions over the past two days. “For any cloud that’s suitable over the UAE you make the operation,” he said

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok sabha election 2024 voting live , Karnataka election 2024 live in Bengaluru , Election 2024 Date along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Follow the latest breaking news and developments from India and around the world with Hindustan Times' newsdesk. From politics and policies to the economy and the environment, from local issues to national events and global affairs, we've got you covered.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 26, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On