Wind, rain and snow: Are UAE winters getting colder and colder?


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Dubai: Yearly UAE residents make the identical remark: “This winter has acquired to be coldest one but!” And yearly, UAE weathermen clarify that it is rather like every other yr.

However, this time, UAE residents aren’t incorrect.

And it is thanks to a high-pressure system constructing over Siberia. The end result: a “chilly mass” coming from the northeast into the Arabian peninsula.

‘Coldest January now we have ever seen’: -2°C

It’s, actually, colder than traditional. “Whereas it’s too early to conclude whether or not we’re experiencing the coldest winter within the UAE, proper now, it’s definitely the coldest January now we have ever seen,” a Nationwide Centre of Meteorology (NCM) official informed Gulf Information. Temperatures dipped to a file of -2 °C for the primary time in January this yr. “Chilly climate is anticipated to proceed until February.”

Whereas it’s too early to conclude whether or not we’re experiencing the coldest winter within the UAE, proper now, it’s definitely the coldest January now we have ever seen.

– Nationwide Centre of Meteorology (NCM)

The nation is understood for being a heat and balmy. So when the temperature drops beneath freezing level within the UAE, it is information. Now, the world is beginning to rediscover UAE winters, and the outside delights they provide. Vacationers flock to the nation to benefit from the “4 S’s” (solar, sea, sand, buying). Resorts participate in loads of sunny actions — kite browsing, paddle boarding and kayaking.

Paddle boarding is likely one of the hottest water sports activities in Dubai throughout the hotter months.

Nevertheless it’s no exaggeration: winters do get chilly right here.

“I like the early morning walks,” mentioned Hiba Habi, 29, who was born and raised in Dubai her complete life. “It is so chilly I’ve to put on gloves!” One thing I by no means thought potential within the UAE. She is not the one one shocked by the colder clime.

I like the early morning walks (this time of the yr). It is so chilly I’ve to put on gloves! One thing I by no means thought potential within the UAE.

– Hiba Hani, 29, Dubai resident

Hiba was born and raised in Dubai her complete life. She is not the one one shocked by the colder clime.

“I’m from Dublin and have grown up in chilly climate,” Andrea O’Neil, a Dubai resident who hails from Eire, mentioned to Gulf Information. “However I really feel chilly. I remorse not packing any jumpers in my bag once I moved right here just a few months in the past.” Most people Andrea speaks to again residence imagine that she is exaggerating about feeling chilly right here within the UAE. “I informed my buddy Mark to pack a jacket when he comes to go to me and he laughed over the cellphone.”

Many could scoff on the concept of it being chilly within the UAE. It is a frequent false impression: folks outdoors do assume it’s scorching round right here all yr spherical. However just a few weeks into 2021, the mercury did drop much more, and our model of winter garments emerge from the again of the closet.

5°C to 10°C: Minimal temperatures

UAE formally marked the beginning of winter on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 similar to the winter solstice — a phenomenon that areas globally use to mark seasons. Saturday, January 9, 2021, was the primary time sub-zero temperature was recorded within the city of Raknah in Al Ain at -2° Celsius.

Excessive-pressure system

The UAE’s climate this month was because of a high-pressure system constructing over Siberia, the NCM mentioned. “The climate this month is characterised by a drop in temperatures, the place it will likely be cool throughout daytime and chilly throughout the night time typically, because of extension of a ridge of high-pressure system constructing over Siberia, related to a chilly air mass that impacts the nation and the Arabian Peninsula typically.”

The present low temperatures within the nation, the NCM forecaster mentioned, is because of a “chilly mass” coming from the northeast, which set off the chilly northeasterly winds. “Minimal temperatures this month, particularly in inner components of the UAE, shall be between 5°C to 10°C, and shall be decrease in mountainous areas. In coastal areas, like Dubai and Sharjah, minimal temperatures shall be between 11°C to 17°C.”

UAE Winter graphic
Picture Credit score: Seyyed Llata, Senior Designer

2021 winter: What to anticipate

“Moreover, throughout this month, the area is affected by a succession of low-pressure methods that move from the western a part of the nation to the east,” the NCM report acknowledged. “The UAE climate may even be affected by the extension of the Crimson Sea trough, at instances. On some days, these strain methods related to higher air troughs will result in cloudy skies over the nation, leading to rainfall.”

The nation may even expertise robust northwesterly winds (Shamal), which can trigger sand and mud to blow overexposed areas within the inner areas. These winds will result in tough seas and a rise in wave top. The report additional added that a rise in relative humidity will improve the possibilities of fog or mist formation. “The frequency of fog or mist will increase over in-lands as in comparison with coastal areas,” the report mentioned.

Easy methods to reap the benefits of the best months

Camping in the UAE
The UAE is residence to an abundance of pure magnificence and loads of issues to do, particularly throughout the winter months. Every of the seven emirates has its personal distinctive gems, whether or not they’re seashores, mountains, desserts or hundred-year-old forts.

In truth, the winters are so great right here within the UAE that Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, accredited a method for home tourism that goals to encourage residents to discover in their very own backyards. The marketing campaign, dubbed, ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ has prompted residents and residents to discover the hidden gems of the seven emirates.

Hisham Younes

“I like winter,” Hisham Younes informed Gulf Information. “From Jabal Jais to the Liwa Desert, the UAE has a lot to supply when it comes to pure magnificence, I’ve lived right here virtually all my life and have but to see all of it. The winter season is an ideal time to absorb all these wonderful sights. I personally love heading out within the early morning to the desert, discovering a quiet spot with an attractive view to get pleasure from my morning espresso and a very good ebook.”

Hiba Hani

Hiba Hani is having fun with the feels-like-I-am-abroad vibe. “Actually the climate is giving me main Europe vibes, so in a means, it’s making up for the worldwide journey limitations,” she informed Gulf Information.

Mohammed Zaki

“I impatiently anticipate each winter season,” mentioned Mohamed Zaki. “This yr, I’m spending lots of my time tenting. Now’s the very best time. I really feel like we’re so blessed with one of many world’s most comfy and unimaginable winters.”

Christina Maroudias

“The current blue skies and crisp, cool air have been so lovely and refreshing,” Christina Maroudias mentioned to Gulf Information. “It actually does really feel a lot cooler than traditional and has been so pretty to have the ability to put on boots, layers and jumpers to wrap-up within the evenings. I’ve been attempting to get outdoors as a lot as potential, I’m going on a stroll each morning which calms my thoughts and units me up for the day. The desert is unimaginable in the intervening time, and I’m attempting to go there each weekend, to soak within the wealthy nature that surrounds the town.”

In the event you love a rocky terrain


Hatta Wadi Hub
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Why you must go to: Hatta is the proper getaway from the town lights, offering a possibility to get again to nature in addition to to expertise a variety of actions. You can go mountain biking or climbing within the Hajar Mountains – additionally identified for its beautiful views – or get pleasure from wadi-bashing within the riverbeds and even go kayaking within the Hatta Dam. The Hatta Wadi Hub gives guests experiences reminiscent of a 10-metre excessive climbing wall that features 5 lanes, a slingshot that propels these in search of journey, enjoyable and suspense to a top of as much as 50 meters, and paragliding.

The place: Dubai, 24.789697065050316, 56.119514087516066

Jebel Jais

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Households get pleasure from outing at Jebel Jais Viewing Deck Park in Ras Al Khaima. 4th January 2021. Photograph: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf Information

Why you must go to: One of many UAE’s highest peaks, Jebel Jais is a part of the Hajar mountains that have been shaped over 70 million years in the past within the jap a part of Ras Al Khaimah and Oman. Towering at 1,934 meters above sea stage, Jebel Jais has wonderful views, thrilling adventures, and a welcome respite from the warmth with temperatures round ten levels cooler than sea stage. The park’s cultural and pure options are one of many cultural websites of Al Ain that make up the UAE’s first designated UNESCO World Heritage Web site. The park is operated by Barari Pure Sources, the environmental administration organisation that conserves and manages forests and nature reserves throughout the emirate of Abu Dhabi, together with Sir Bani Yas Island and Telal Resort. There are a selection of enjoyable issues to do in Jebel Hafeet Desert Park. Whether or not you wish to discover the desert on wheels, on foot or the normal means – on a camel.

The place: Ras Al Khaimah, 25.954559398387044, 56.18371718371678

Jebel Hafeet Desert Park

Hafit Park TEASER 2-1604218413262
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Why you must go to: Al Ain’s Jebel Hafeet Desert Park is one among Abu Dhabi’s latest cultural and outside journey points of interest. Positioned on the foot of Jebel Hafeet Mountain, the park gives visitors a mixture of historical past, tradition, and beautiful pure landscapes. The park’s cultural and pure options are one of many cultural websites of Al Ain that make up the UAE’s first designated UNESCO World Heritage Web site. The park is operated by Barari Pure Sources, the environmental administration organisation that conserves and manages forests and nature reserves throughout the emirate of Abu Dhabi, together with Sir Bani Yas Island and Telal Resort. There are a selection of enjoyable issues to do in Jebel Hafeet Desert Park. Whether or not you wish to discover the desert on wheels, on foot or the normal means – on a camel.

The place: Abu Dhabi, 24.044473021228047, 55.836862026987816

Value: Dh350 to entry the general public campsite, Dh500 for an evening within the tent

Wadi Showka

Picture Credit score: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf Information

Why you must go to: Positioned simply 45 minutes away from Dubai, Wadi Showka has grow to be a well-liked spot for a lot of UAE residents seeking to escape the bustle of the town. You possibly can go climbing within the mountains, biking on sure trails in addition to a youngsters’ playground, and the Shawka dam. At the moment open for vacationers with some services. Wadi Shawka is the best household leisure and picnic location. A dam was constructed following the directions of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 2001. At 120mm, Wadi Shawka receives one of many highest rainfalls within the nation and the dam helps harvest rainwater.

The place: Ras Al Khaimah, 25.134655936788846, 56.04162185423917

In the event you love mangroves

Al Zorah Mangroves and Lagoon

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Why you must go to: The species of mangrove present in Al Zorah known as the Avicennia marina, generally generally known as the gray or white mangrove and near 58 totally different species inhabit this ecosystem. When you can have a decide between embarking on this tour throughout low or excessive tide, we might suggest the hour near sundown that provides the panorama an virtually surreal attraction. Mangrove excursions are priced at Dh150 for adults and Dh130 for youngsters underneath 12 years. Every journey, together with security directions, lasts two hours.

The place: Ajman, 25.437377777610156, 55.46527834093501

Value: Ranging from Dh100 onwards

Jubail Mangrove Park

Jubail Mangrove Park
Jubail Mangrove Park
Picture Credit score: Gulf Information

Why you must go to: The mangrove park is the primary self-contained instructional, nature and leisure vacation spot of its form within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Right here, you possibly can go to and discover a haven of marine species native to Abu Dhabi. It’s primarily a mangrove sanctuary. A meandering boardwalk will take you thru the mangroves and lets you uncover Abu Dhabi in its essence.

The place: Abu Dhabi, 24.545416707513986, 54.4853953691829

Value: Tickets begin from Dh10

In the event you love the desert

Liwa Desert a.okay.a Rub Al Khali

UAE desert
Picture Credit score: Atiq Ur Rehman /Gulf Information

Why you must go to: Also referred to as “The Empty Quarter” solely the very skilled dune-bashers go right here. Liwa desert is understood for the festivals and challenges which can be carried out yearly. Bordering Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen, myths and folklore narrate the story of an historic metropolis that when resided in the midst of the Rub Al Khali, however it was misplaced to the sands of time and until date, nobody has been capable of find the ruins. It’s the largest desert within the Arabian Peninsula. Unfold over a large space, with very tender sand, Liwa desert shares its border with Saudi Arabia. Stretching past the Abu Dhabi’s lush Liwa Oasis, with the Moreeb dune — the tallest within the UAE — a feat to behold. However novice drivers beware, it’s straightforward to lose one’s means within the Rub Al Khali, therefore it’s advisable to go as a part of a convoy or with an skilled information. The desert gives a welcome blanket to arrange camp however hanging out solo deep into the Rub Al Khali must be prevented. Whereas there, do take time to discover the city of Liwa, one of many few locations that gives a quick glimpse into the origins of the nation and its historic heritage.

The place: Abu Dhabi, 22.848392331340335, 53.98949205387927

Buried Village of Al Madam

Al Madam Sharjah
Picture Credit score: Ahmed Ramazan/Gulf Information

Why you must go to: Al Madam is an deserted village, relationship just a few a long time again. The village now lies half-buried in sand, and no one is precisely positive why. Positioned simply on the sting of the Dubai border, it’s well worth the journey, simply so you possibly can see how the homes have been engulfed by the desert. Affectionately generally known as the “Madam Ghost City” this space was constructed within the 70s, as a part of a housing venture. You’ll discover that the entire homes are the identical. The village is made up of simply two rows of similar homes and a mosque within the far nook. he village, in accordance with locals, was as soon as inhabited by Al Kutbi tribe, one of many three outstanding tribes residing in and round Al Madam, a small city ruled by Sharjah emirate. The native legend goes that jinns have been the rationale for the villager’s departure of the world. Jinns are supernatural creatures that Muslims imagine exist on this world however not seen to human eyes.

The place: Sharjah, 24.894612, 55.763894

Lahbab Desert

Lahab Desert
Picture Credit score: GN

Why you must go to: Identified for its spectacular purple sands, Lahbab is a well-liked night-time hang-out for brand spanking new campers. Many begin off near the acquainted Fossil Rock that’s additionally an incredible place for stargazing. A barbecue on this climate is the very best factor to do whereas trying the ‘Huge Crimson’, a 300-foot excessive sand dune, is a dune basher’s delight. You can additionally head over to the sleepy village of Madam simply earlier than the Hatta border crossing for extra tenting spots the place you might have some wandering camels from native farms for firm.

The place: Dubai, 25.050124501814, 55.59266294671861


Picture Credit score: GN Archives

​Why you must go to: ​​​​​​Positioned in Abu Dhabi, it’s on the border of three cities: Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain. Sweihan is named “Little Liwa”, since it’s the practising floor of Liwa fanatics. Sweihan is totally different than the opposite deserts and is just suggested for knowledgeable drivers, because of its large dunes and tender sands. With correct guiding and GPS, one can see an abundance of camels and lone Emiratis with their falcons right here. Naqrah is a sand dune positioned deep within the Sweihan desert, which must be tried no less than as soon as by dune bashing buffs.

Location: Abu Dhabi, 24.399723724671137, 55.28281904885302

5 memorable climate moments within the UAE

All through the UAE’s historical past, some winters have left extra of an impression than others. Bringing icy rains and the occasional gentle blankets of snow, listed below are the winters which have remained lodged within the cultural reminiscence.

January 2020

Picture Credit score: Gulf Information archives

A type of moments occurred final yr this actual week. UAE residents loved the winter chill, because it actually began snowing in Jebel Jais, the place the temperature reached -1 °C within the early hours of January 15, 2020.

November 2018

Rains of different intensities
Sunday morning rain: Rains of various intensities related to contemporary to robust winds are anticipated within the coming days, in accordance with the UAE climate bureau.
Picture Credit score: Twitter

One other momentous winter day was the notorious heavy downpour of November 2018, which brought about faculties to shut down as flooded roads brought about an elevated variety of accidents that day. Even flights into and out of Dubai Worldwide Airport have been delayed because of dangerous climate situations.

February 2017

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Lightning at Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaima throughout the rain and thunderstorm. twelfth January 2019. Photograph: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf Information

In truth, statistics by the UAE’s Nationwide Centre of Meteorology over the past decade present that -5.7° Celsius was the coldest temperature reached within the UAE at Jebel Jais in February 2017.

January 2015

191201 karama hail
A state of affairs that the NCM dubbed a ‘freak and intense’ hail storm.

The “Freak Hail Storm” that kicked off 2015 is especially memorable because of the marine warning that the NCM was issuing. Waves have been as excessive as 12 ft within the Arabian Gulf. The best rainfall recorded that month was 38.2mm in in the future.

January 2009

Ras Al Khaimah’s Jebel Jais mountain vary blanketed by snow final yr.
Picture Credit score: WAM/Gulf Information Archives

In the beginning of 2019, Ras Al Khaimah Residents skilled a heavy snowfall on Jebel Jais mountain. Snow fell closely on the mountains of Ras Al Khaimah on a Friday night time, leaving the mountain vary coated in a thick white blanket of snow.

What that you must know concerning the UAE local weather

UAE Desert
The UAE’s subtropical desert local weather is characterised by gentle winters and extremely popular summers.

The United Arab Emirates has what qualifies as a desert local weather. Desert climates are the most typical kind of local weather on earth after the polar local weather. Over two-thirds of the earth’s floor is roofed in water from the oceans.

The remaining one-third of the earth’s floor is dry land on which people dwell, however a 3rd of that dry land is de facto dry. It’s the desert. A lot of the deserts on the earth are positioned north and south of the equator, these are referred to as the subtropical zones.

The UAE’s subtropical desert local weather is characterised by gentle winters and extremely popular summers, wherein the humidity of the Arabian Gulf, which might make the warmth insufferable in between June and September.

Here’s a world map highlighting the desert climates in purple. Most of them are clustered close to the earth’s equator.

There are two kinds of desert climates:

Cold and warm Sizzling desert local weather

UAE Desert
The UAE is residence to many scorching deserts.

Sizzling arid areas with little rainfall, excessive temperature and sparse vegetation. Typically, the deserts which can be discovered within the sub-tropical areas (north and south of the equator) are scorching deserts. Temperatures are increased with gentle winters and very scorching summers.

These embody: The Arabian Desert, the Sahara Desert and the Namib Desert to call just a few.

Chilly desert local weather

Sometimes present in areas at increased latitudes together with the areas above the tree strains of mountain ranges. The temperatures are decrease with mildly scorching summers and very chilly winters.

The Arctic desert
An arctic desert island in Franz Joseph Land

These embody: The Arctic, the Antarctic and Greenland. An arctic desert island in Franz Joseph Land

Rain within the UAE

UAE rain Naman Dagariya
Rain on Sheikh Zayed Street
Picture Credit score: Gulf Information reader Naman Dagariya

Naturally-occurring rain is mostly uncommon for decent desert climates. Annual precipitation is beneath 100 millimetres (4 inches) and is concentrated within the winter months.

However when it does rain, it happens within the type of showers or downpours, which may generally be fairly intense, which many UAE residents can attest to. Moreover, the UAE has had many situations of induced rain. The NCM revealed that they carried out a complete of 219 cloud seeding operations throughout the UAE within the first six months of 2020 to boost the nation’s water provide.

In truth, in accordance with the NCM, the UAE is likely one of the first nations of the Arabian Gulf area to make use of the cloud seeding expertise. This includes utilizing refined climate radars to observe the environment of the nation across the clock, in addition to the usage of a non-public airplane equipped by particular salt flares, has been manufactured to suit with the character of the bodily and chemical properties of the clouds that type within the UAE.

As soon as the clouds are deemed applicable they’re “seeded” by firing particular flares which can be loaded with salt crystals into convective clouds. The method then attracts tiny particles of water that collide and grow to be heavier which then fall as rain.

UAE cloud seeding operation
UAE’s NCM carried out cloud seeding operations as we speak to boost rainfall within the area
Picture Credit score: Provided: NCM

So though desert climates ought to get lower than 100mm of rain yearly, the UAE has a median of 122mm of rainfal per yr in accordance with information by the NCM.

For tomorrow’s climate report, count on a low between 2°C. and eight °C. and a excessive between 22°C to 26°C.


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