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Heavy Rainfall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Why is it in the news?

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) experienced the heaviest rain ever after a severe thunderstorm hit the country, leading to disruptions in daily life, damage to property, and even casualties.

More about the news

  • Heavy rains are unusual in the UAE, which is an arid, Arabian Peninsula country.
  • The thunderstorms dumped more than 142 millimeters (mm) of rain onto Dubai in a short period. This amount of rainfall is significant, as it exceeds what the city typically receives in a year and a half.
  • The heavy rains caused disruption to air travel, flooded homes, led to vehicle abandonment on roadways, and affected popular shopping centres like Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.
  • Schools were shut, and work-from-home orders were extended for government employees due to the adverse weather conditions.

Reasons for heavy rains

  • The primary reason for the heavy rains was a storm system passing through the Arabian Peninsula and moving across the Gulf of Oman.
  • Additionally, cloud seeding, a process of inducing rainfall by spraying salt mixtures into clouds, may have exacerbated the rainfall.
  • However, some experts suggest that soaring global temperatures due to climate change could have contributed to the event.
  • While it’s challenging to attribute any specific extreme weather event solely to climate change, the increase in global temperatures, driven by greenhouse gas emissions, may have played a role in the intensity of the rainfall, including natural climate variability like El Niño and La Niña.

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