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Desert city of Dubai floods as heaviest rainfall in 75 years hits UAE

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the heavy rains that have hit the United Arab Emirates, causing flooding, disrupting flights, and resulting in at least one fatality. It also mentions the impact of the rainfall in other Gulf countries.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Heavy Rains in the UAE

1. What was the impact of the heavy rains in the UAE?

  • The heavy rains flooded major highways and disrupted flights at Dubai international airport.
  • At least one person was killed, a 70-year-old man who was swept away in his car in Ras Al Khaimah.
  • The rainfall was described as the largest amount in the past 75 years, surpassing "anything documented since the start of data collection in 1949".
  • More than 142mm (5.59in) of rain soaked the desert city of Dubai, which is normally the average amount it gets in a year and a half.
  • Homes were flooded and vehicles were abandoned on roadways across Dubai.
  • Major shopping centers like Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates had flooding, with ankle-deep water in at least one Dubai Metro station.

2. What is the UAE's practice of "cloud seeding" and how might it have contributed to the heavy rainfall?

  • The UAE government-operated small aircraft release salt flares into clouds to potentially enhance precipitation levels, a practice known as "cloud seeding".
  • The meteorologist Ahmed Habib suggested that this practice might have contributed to the heightened rainfall in the UAE.

3. How does the heavy rainfall in the UAE compare to its typical weather patterns?

  • Rain is unusual in the UAE, on the arid Arabian peninsula, but occurs periodically during the cooler winter months.
  • Some inland areas of the UAE recorded more than 80mm of rain over 24 hours, approaching the annual average of about 100mm.

4. What was the government's response to the heavy rainfall?

  • The National Center for Meteorology urged residents to "take all the precautions โ€ฆ and to stay away from areas of flooding and water accumulation".
  • The UAE government media office described the downpours as an "exceptional" climate event.
  • Schools were shut across the UAE and were expected to remain closed on Wednesday.
  • Dubai's government also extended remote working for its employees into Wednesday.
  • Dubai's international airport diverted some incoming flights on Tuesday.

[02] Impact in Other Gulf Countries

1. How did the heavy rainfall affect other Gulf countries?

  • Rain also fell in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, although the precipitation was particularly significant in the UAE.
  • Earlier, the weather system caused floods across Bahrain, and left 18 dead in Oman, on the eastern edge of the Arabian peninsula, on Sunday and Monday, including 10 schoolchildren swept away in a vehicle with an adult.

[03] Climate Change Implications

1. How does the article connect the heavy rainfall to climate change?

  • The article states that human-caused climate breakdown is supercharging extreme weather across the world, driving more frequent and more deadly disasters from heatwaves and wildfires to floods.
  • It notes that at least a dozen of the most serious events of the last decade would have been all but impossible without human-caused global heating.
  • The article suggests that extreme rainfall is more common and more intense because of human-caused climate breakdown across most of the world, as warmer air can hold more water vapour, leading to more frequent and severe flooding.
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