What caused UAE's record rainfall? Exploring reason behind wettest day in Dubai's history

In just one day, Dubai, a desert city received 25 cm (10 inches) of rain. The historic rainfall has been witnessed for the first time in the past 75 years.

Published on Apr 17, 2024  |  04:12 PM IST |  40.7K
(Image Courtesy: Twitter)
Image courtesy: Twitter
Key Highlight
  • Dubai was soaked in 25 cm (10 inches) of rain in just 24 hours
  • Rains flooded major highways and disrupted flights at Dubai International Airport

In an unparalleled meteorological event, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has seen exceptional flooding, the most significant rainfall recorded in 24 hours till Tuesday at 9 p.m. The UAE Centre of Meteorology claims that this exceeds all recorded precipitation events since data collection began in 1949 and affects different parts of the country. The UAE's unusually heavy rains were said to have claimed the life of one individual.  

According to meteorological data gathered at Dubai International Airport, the city saw 24 hours of rain equivalent to one and a half years. Dubai, a desert city, turned impassable by the rain, and parts of its main thoroughfares and international airport were submerged. The Dubai airport's operations were halted for twenty-five minutes in the afternoon before resuming. 


What caused UAE's record rainfall?

CNN reports that the rain that submerged Dubai is part of a larger storm system that is sweeping across the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Peninsula. Southeast Iran and neighboring Oman are also experiencing exceptionally rainy weather due to this same cyclone. As a result of Oman's floods brought on by the recent heavy rains, at least 18 people have died.

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However, Friederike Otto, a leader in evaluating how climate change affects certain extreme weather occurrences, also linked the extraordinary rainfall to global warming. Bloomberg revealed that cloud seeding was a contributing factor in the intense rains. In 2002, the UAE initiated cloud seeding operations to tackle the problem of water security.

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The Khatm Al Shakla area in Al Ain recorded the most rainfall, with an astounding 254 mm falling in less than a day. This heavy rainfall is a significant occurrence in the meteorological history of the United Arab Emirates, strengthening the country's groundwater reserves and raising the average yearly rainfall in the nation.

The Ajman Department of Human Resources acknowledged the weather on Wednesday, April 17, and said that government employees would continue to work remotely despite the unfavorable conditions.

ALSO READ: Heavy Rains Lash Out In Dubai, Leading To Flooding And Causing Major Disruptions In International Flights

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