23 May 2024,   12:41
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Chaos in Dubai as UAE records heaviest rainfall in 75 years

Chaos ensued in the United Arab Emirates after the country witnessed the heaviest rainfall in 75 years, with some areas recording more than 250 mm of precipitation in fewer than 24 hours, the state’s media office said, writes CNN.

The rainfall, which flooded streets, uprooted palm trees and shattered building facades, has never been seen in the Middle Eastern nation since records began in 1949. In the popular tourist destination Dubai, flights were canceled, traffic came to a halt and schools closed.

100 millimeters of rain fell over the course of just 12 hours on Tuesday, according to weather observations at the airport – around what Dubai usually records in an entire year, according to United Nations data. The rain fell so heavily and so quickly that some motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles as the floodwater rose and roads turned into rivers.

Extreme rainfall events like this are becoming more common as the atmosphere warms due to human-driven climate change. A warmer atmosphere is able to soak up more moisture like a towel and then ring it out in the form of flooding rainfall.

The weather conditions were associated with a larger storm system traversing the Arabian Peninsula and moving across the Gulf of Oman. This same system is also bringing unusually wet weather to nearby Oman and southeastern Iran. In Oman, at least 18 were killed in flash floods triggered by heavy rain, the country’s National Committee for Emergency Management said. Casualties included schoolchildren, according to Oman’s state news agency.

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