More rain fell across the UAE on Sunday morning following a wet weekend marred by flooding and thunderstorms.
The rainfall is expected to continue in some parts throughout the day, forecasters said.
Lightning was reported over Sharjah before sunrise, while light rain and thunder was recorded in Dubai and at Al Maktoum Airport. Light rain also fell at Al Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi.
At 7.45am, the satellite radar showed pockets of heavy showers along the coastline stretching from the capital up to Ras Al Khaimah.
Another band of heavy showers lined up in the Arabian Gulf.
Commuters battled hazardous road conditions as torrential rain and a flurry of hail fell in Abu Dhabi.
The National Centre of Meteorology forecast that Sharjah and Ajman would have heavy rain, while new winds would cause clouds of dust, hampering visibility.
A woman was killed after a wall collapse in Ras Al Khaimah, while a search and rescue operation has been launched for a man swept away in flash floods in the emirate.
Temperatures will peak at about 20°C in Abu Dhabi and 21°C in Dubai. But dropping temperatures in mountainous areas could bring snow and hail, the centre warned.
Conditions in the Arabian Gulf and in the Sea of Oman will be rough.
Hail storm and heavy rains hit the Al Twain area of Fujairah this morning. Forecasters have advised motorists to take extra caution.
Flights disrupted by stormy conditions
Flights at Dubai International Airport were delayed on Saturday because of the flooding.
A spokesman for Dubai Airports said operations at Dubai International continued to be hampered on Sunday by the knock-on effects of water-logging caused by heavy rainfall.
“This has resulted in a number of flight delays, cancellations and diversions,” he said.
“We continue to work closely with our service partners to clear the backlog, restore full operations and minimise inconvenience to our customers.
“However, with additional rain expected the disruption will continue for the next 24 hours.
“Accordingly, customers are advised to check directly with their airlines for more specific flight information and allow additional time to get to the airport.”
Dubai’s Roads and Transports Authority has suspended the Intercity Ferry service between the emirate and Sharjah due to bad weather conditions.
Schools expected to open tomorrow
Schools are expected to reopen on Monday as clean-ups are completed but said they would wait for final confirmation from regulators in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“Our schools were open today with the exception of Al Mizhar Amercian Academy in Dubai and all our schools should be open tomorrow, unless otherwise advised by KHDA or ADEK,” a Taleem spokesperson told The National.
Several schools in the country remained open on Sunday, despite the weather, as many pupils sat their GCSE and A-level mocks.
“I have exams this entire week and I can’t afford skipping school today,” said Avi Kapur, a year 10 pupil in Gems Jumeirah College.
Dubai College and Dubai English Speaking College were also open. Primary schools including Gems Jumeirah Primary School was also open today and pupils could report late to school because of traffic and water-clogged roads.
Many schools closed on Sunday as a precaution as road networks were flooded due to the heavy storms that thundered in during the early hours.
JESS Arabian Ranches, all Raffles schools and nurseries and Emirates International School were closed in Dubai. BSAK in Abu Dhabi was also closed.
“We confirm that due to heavy rainfall and unstable weather conditions, a number of our schools had to be closed today. While we regret any inconvenience caused, the decision was made in the interests of the safety and security of our pupils and staff. Our teams are on the ground assessing the situation at each of the schools affected and we expect to be able to resume normal operations tomorrow,” said a Gems Education spokesperson.
Forecasters issue safety alert
The National Centre of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning with a red notice to take action advising residents to be “extremely vigilant due to hazardous weather events of exceptional severity forecast”.
Spectacular electrical storms lit up the night sky in Ras Al Khaimah, where some residents reported hailstones in the early hours of Sunday.
Clean up operation begins
Some Dubai tenants faced a major clean-up operation as their properties flooded.
Residents told of how they woke up to flooded properties, forcing them to spend the day with mops in hand as they struggled to cope with the deluge.
An army of more than 3,000 Dubai Municipality staff are working tirelessly to drain water from affected areas across the emirate.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority had a 600-strong team working round the clock to clear up waterlogged roads before the early-morning commute.
Drivers travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi enjoyed a smoother route on Sunday, 24 hours after many motorists were trapped in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Dubai Municipality has deployed over 3,000 staff members working across Dubai to drain accumulated rainwater and remove waste using 35 pumps, dozens of vehicles and rainwater drainage stations. The municipality received 3,100 clean up requests during this period.
Videos posted on social media showed residents having to abandon their cars during the weekend as the water levels rose to such an extent that roads were not passable.
Tunnels running under Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai were impassable in some areas. An image of a taxi with water up to its windscreen was widely circulated.
Updated: January 12, 2020 09:04 PM