Rain and low temperatures are expected across the emirates this afternoon, with drops of rain felt in Dubai from lunchtime.

Late April is normally a dry time of year, but heavy cloud cover has blanketed the UAE this afternoon, and rainfall has hit Dubai.

At 1.57pm the National Centre for Meteorology Services (NCMS) put out a bulletin warning of “blowing dust”, “decreased visibility” and “towering clouds associated with rain”.

This satellite image shows the rain over the UAE at 4pm on Sunday – light blue is drizzle, blue means light rain and the small patch of yellow in the centre is moderate rain:


The temperature today is also lower than usual, with lows in coastal areas hitting 20 degrees Celsius and the day’s high a moderate 32 degrees. Relative humidity will hit a high of 90 per cent today according to the NCMS.

And tomorrow? Well the NCMS thinks the cloudy conditions will stick around on Monday, but they haven’t yet specifically forecast rain.

In Dubai there is an average of 7mm of rain in April, whereas in February there is an average of 25mm and in March 22mm.

Why does it seem to be raining so much this year? Well, according to The National, some scientists have theorised that it’s because of El Niño, a recurring weather phenomenon that sees a warming of the Pacific Ocean (and means unusually hot summers in places like New Zealand and Australia).

Scientists at the UAE’s NCMS have found a possible correlation between this warming of the Pacific and higher levels of rain in a year in the UAE. They’re continuing to investigate the link.

There’s also the fact that the NCMS continues to work on cloud seeding in order to lower temperatures in the UAE – this process sees pilots injecting clouds with salt so that they produce rain. (Fast fact: The pilots often find themselves ‘chasing’ the exact type of cloud they need before it disperses).

Here are some social media reactions to this afternoon’s rain…

We can empathise with this one…

Summer is coming? #notquite #rain #mydubai #cloudseeding #weather

A photo posted by Eduan Maggo (@eduan) on