DUBAI/ABU DHABI, Mar 17: Strong winds carrying fine dust, which resulted in poor visibility, hit Dubai and the Northern Emirates yesterday.
About 378 minor accidents were reported in Dubai due to the sandstorm.
The adverse weather conditions, however, did not affect air traffic in Dubai and Sharjah airports, industry sources said.
The Meteorological Office of the Dubai International Airport (DIA) reported that strong winds blowing at an average speed of 35 knots have been observed in Dubai.
But neighbouring emirates like Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah have not been as heavily covered with dust as Dubai.
“Visibility at the Dubai airport has been reduced to two kilometres,” said Sulaiman Mohammed, Met Office’s duty forecaster.
He also mentioned that Abu Dhabi had stronger winds, with speed ranging an average of 40 knots. The visibility in the capital was reduced to 500 metres because of the sandstorm.
An official source at the Meteorological Department of the National Communications Authority in Abu Dhabi said the sand storm will subside by today, with the possibility of moderate rain in most areas.
The weather conditions will change by Sunday, with partially cloudy skies and rain in the northern areas and hinterland.
The maximum temperature recorded in the capital yesterday was 27-28ºC, a drop ranging from 5-8ºC, and the minimum temperature was 19ºC.
Northwest or shamal winds will likely be experienced in Dubai early morning today. The Met Office has released a marine advisory cautioning marine travellers, residents and tourists from engaging in any sea-related activities.
Mohammed said the skies had been forecast to clear around midnight last night, paving the way to a favourable weather condition today.
The maximum temperature yesterday was 36ºC while the minimum temperature was 22ºC.
Meanwhile, sources at the Ground Operations Department of the DIA and the Sharjah International Airport have confirmed that their operations have been normal without any flight disruption associated with the weather.