Stormy Weekend Expected in Dubai

Malaysia Sun

Dubai, Feb 1: The Dubai Meteorological Office has forecast a strong possibility for a sandstorm in Dubai Friday evening and over the weekend with near gale force winds.

Poor visibility is also likely to make driving conditions difficult.

According to the forecast, wind speeds of up to 30 knots are expected to hit UAE’s west and east coasts by the weekend. Boat owners on the west coast have been warned against going out.

Dr S.K. Gupta, the duty forecaster at Dubai Meterological Office, said a very high pressure system is building up over the eastern section of Saudi Arabia and strong north-westerly winds are travelling from Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain to the UAE.

He told Gulf News, "The high winds will be dangerous for any construction work on scaffold or for operating cranes," adding that a marine warning will also be out soon to warn sailors of waves of 15 to 20 feet. Offshore, the winds will be fiercer, at 30 knots (55kph).

Flights will not be affected by the gale as pilots regularly travel through 130 knot winds at 30,000 feet, said the forecaster. "The visibility will be clear at the airport as there is no open area nearby," Dr Gupta told Gulf News.

Separately Internet services in the UAE were disrupted Thursday after two cables, 400 metres apart, were cut in the Mediterranean Sea. It is believed a ship's anchor may have dragged through the cables, severing both.

Etisalat and Du, the two major telecommunications networks, were at pains to maintain services. It is not known when the cable will be repaired, however early reports indicate it could be up to two weeks.


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