Spring Weather in the Gulf

Many of our friends think that we have perpetual sunshine and hot weather year round and whilst it is true that we have considerably more sunshine and are always typically 30C hotter than our native Scotland, we get our share of bad weather too.

The spring and autumn months are considered “transition” seasons here, and the weather is often unsettled.  However this year has been exceptional in the number of days it has rained and the frequency of winter storms one of which brought 6″ of rain one weekend on the outskirts of Al Ain!

One of the reasons for the rainfall, though apparently not the accompanying thunder and lightening, has been the UAE’s cloud seeding program.  In 2012 it wasn’t particularly successful; my friend works with this initiative and he tells me that they need a certain type of cloud and from spotting suitable formations they have only 30 minutes to get airborne and start the process – last year there was a dearth of “the right type of clouds”.  So far in 2013 there have been bumper crops of the right type of cloud and the program has done very well.  Sometimes the rain falls over the border in Oman but the key issue here is groundwater, and regardless of which side of the fence the rain falls, the UAE benefits.

Talking of Oman, the rural areas between here and Muscat could be called the land of wadis (dried up river beds) and mountains.  Whenever it rains some flooding is almost inevitable – here’s a great video of a flash flood along with some solid advice to accompany it which I found via this great blog


In the winter we have experienced temperatures as low as 6C  in the desert, and it is rarely above 22 or 23C during the day.  Campfires are the order of the evening at desert BBQs and you do need a jumper if you are going to sit and starwatch late into the evening!  Mind you, I love a campfire and my excuse for lighting one at summer BBQs is that the smoke keeps the flies away!

So guess what I’ve been moaning about this week – yes, the intense heat we have experienced.  Having been in the high 20s and low 30s for much of the last month, a sudden blast of warm weather bringing highs of 43C has been hard to adjust to!  Still, it’s forecast to be “only” 36C on Saturday….

screenshot weather underground 16 May 2013

Further reading: 

My friend Susie Harris wrote a great blog post about our seasons last year; with the days getting warmer there is a  mass migration to cooler climes. Sometimes these are on a permanent basis with contracts coming to an end but for others it’s just a two or three month break from the 40-50C temps we experience here in the Gulf during the summer.  Indeed this year sees her and her husband retire and sail away – literally – to faraway shores.  Bon voyage Susie and Kevin – we’re looking forward to reading about your adventures whenever you get a wifi connection!

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