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UAE Faces Heaviest Rainfall in 75 Years, Airports Shut Down



heaviest rainfall

The UAE received the heaviest rainfall ever. More than 250 mm of rain records were made in one day in the United Arab Emirates, which had not been seen in the region for 75 years. It destroyed trees and buildings and caused immense flooding. The rain began to fall on Monday night, resulting in school closures, flight cancellations, and traffic gridlock. Contrary to Dubai’s annual average, this amount of rain was a deluge, unparalleled in the last 60 years since 1949, having been 100 millimetres in 12 hours. Moreover, climate change could have been a significant factor in increasing the precipitation during the storm – as in the case of a warm atmosphere, which can occupy more moisture, resulting in heavier rainfall.

This torrential rain was just part of a more extensive storm system impacting the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf of Oman. Schools and streets ended up underwater in these areas with Iran southeastern and Oman, and at least 18 people, including janitors, lost their lives. Rain in amounts that such places, like Sistan and Baluchestan in Iran and Pakistan, usually do not receive had a devastating effect, with Chabahar port receiving 130mm of rainfall.

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The effect was significant; Dubai Airport was now below the sea, and the usual airport operations could not run adequately since the airport roads had been submerged, and flights had been delayed. Emirates passengers were directly affected, with check-in stopped and departure postponed because of the weather’s impact and the roads’ closure in most airports.

False stories have been circulating, such as tampering activities like cloud seeding or manufactured intervention, as the leading cause of the storm at the UAE’s local meteorology centre. It was not the cloud seeding technique employed to induce rainfalls that caused the breakthrough in producing unlaceable rains. Since the 1990s, the UAE has been using cloud seeding to enhance rainfall in drought-affected areas, but this was a natural occurrence.

With a more damaging variant of climate change, regions near the fault line can experience intense weather events more frequently, making the development of resilient infrastructure and disaster preparedness measures urgent.

Source: Heaviest rainfall in 75 years engulfs UAE, airports closed

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