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50.2°C (and it’s getting stickier)

DUBAI // It’s hot and sticky outside, and it’s going to stay that way for the rest of the weekend.

The weather bureau forecast 90 per cent humidity at night, expected to soar to 100 per cent in the event of fog, and the temperature reached 50.2°C in Sweihan in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

The spike in humidity was by a change in the wind direction, with the conditions catching many residents by surprise.

Meteorologists asked motorists to drive with caution since high humidity could lead to fog.

“The direction of the wind until three to four days ago was a southerly wind coming over the desert, so conditions were dry,” said Ahmed Habib, a meteorology specialist with the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology, yesterday.

“This started to change yesterday (Thursday). The wind on Thursday was a northwesterly, coming in over the sea, so the humidity started increasing.”

The humidity levels continued to rise yesterday and will do so today, he said.

“There was scattered fog in parts of the western UAE on Thursday night and Friday morning. So everybody should take care, especially motorists because of poor visibility conditions in case of fog. There is also a chance of cloud formation appearing in the mountains in eastern UAE and between Al Ain and Oman areas.”

While the temperature will remain in the mid to high 40s, humidity is likely to increase at night.

“The range of humidity in the night and early morning will be 85 to 95 per cent, with an increase associated with the fog to 100 per cent,” Mr Habib said.

“This humidity is in the highest range at night and in the early morning, during the day time the humidity is from 25 to 45 per cent. Actually, the temperature will be same between 44°C and 49°C in interior parts and a maximum temperature of about 39°C to 44°C in coastal areas.”

Residents said the extreme weather was stifling.

“I usually take my kids for a dip in the sea in the evening but it’s incredibly hot today, the air is kind of sitting on you like a blanket,” said Mike Dunn with two young children at Jumeirah Beach.

“My phone shows it’s 38°C but says it ‘feels like 50°C.’ This sort of heat saps energy levels.”

Others described it as regular August weather.

“Sure it’s hot but what else do people expect in August-September in the UAE?” said Janine Alam, a resident for the past six years.

The NCMS weather report forecasts hazy and partly cloudy conditions today through to tomorrow with moderate winds blowing dust over some areas. Humidity is likely to increase over some western areas, the report predicts.

While the temperature could go up to 48°C in interior regions, it will rise to 43°C in coastal areas and 35°C in the mountains.

Humidity levels will be between 55 to 90 per cent in coastal areas, 45 to 70 per cent in interior regions and 35 to 45 per cent in the mountains.

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(via The National)