Monday, June 30, 2008

Country sizzles at 51.4C

Country sizzles at 51.4C
By Zoe Sinclair and M. A. Qudoos for KHALEEJ TIMES

DUBAI/ABU DHABI — Mercury touched 51.4C in the UAE yesterday and with humidity at 42 per cent, weather forecasters are predicting uncomfortable days ahead.

A duty forecaster from the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology said the top temperature of 51.4C was recorded at Minhad Airport, an inland military base, yesterday.

The forecaster said Abu Dhabi and Al Ain both recorded their highest temperature for the year so far at 48.3C.

Dubai Meteorological Office duty forecaster Dr S. K. Gupta said Dubai International Airport meteorology equipment recorded 46.7C while Jebel Ali recorded 49C and Sharjah 48.5C.

Dubai's all-time high temperature recording on August 9 and 15 in 1999 was 47.5C while Dubai's June and July all-time highs are both 47.3C.

“August is typically the hottest month,” Dr S. K. Gupta said. “The high temperatures are the result of the breeze beginning late and from a south-easterly gradient which is more from the desert direction.”

Dr Gupta said the comfort index, on a scale of one to ten with ten most uncomfortable, was currently around five or six.

Suspended dust around Abu Dhabi yesterday also affected visibility which reduced to 1,500 metres at its lowest.

The weekend was also hot with temperatures reaching 44C in Dubai on Saturday.

For the week ahead, Dr Gupta predicted hot temperatures of about 45C today and tomorrow. Abu Dhabi was predicted to feel temperatures of 47C while Al Ain was likely to experience 48C.

However, the sea breeze would begin earlier and from a north-westerly direction from Wednesday and causing temperatures to drop slightly.

Maximum temperatures should be closer to 40-41C on Wednesday and 39-40C on Thursday.

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