Severe Storms Drench UAE

An intense downpour drenched the desert landscape of the United Arab Emirates during the week of 6 March bringing with it high winds and flooding. One of the most heavily affected areas was the nation’s capital of Abu Dhabi. The heavy rains, which dumped 295cm of water on the city, quickly filled up the drainage system that’s accustomed to only 100mm of rain per year.

A woman uses plastic bags to keep her feet dry in Abu Dhabi Photo:

Not only did the storm system flood the area, but it also brought with it high winds that disrupted service at both Abu Dhabi International Airport and Al Bateen Executive Airport. Wind speeds at Al Bateen Executive Airport reached hurricane strength, clocking in 120 kph on Wednesday.

al bateen airport

The below video powered by Earth Networks Total Lightning Network shows a large grouping of cloud-to-ground (yellow) lightning striking Abu Dhabi, indicating just how severe the storm was.

There are also a few flashes of purple in-cloud lightning strikes which serve as a warning for potential severe weather conditions, like the hurricane-force winds experienced at Al Bateen Executive Airport.


In addition to the airports being shut down, roads, schools and businesses were also closed for a greater part of the week.