After The Rain: Liwa January 2015

The UAE had a bit of weather last week (19th Jan).

Now snow in the high mountains of Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah is nothing new – every couple of years some snowflakes fall there; however huge hailstorms enough to turn the desert white are extremely unusual.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to see it as I was in Liwa, but there we experienced widespread, heavy rain which made the normally warm sand dunes appear sombre, dark, desolate. wetliwal031

After the rain the dunes were left adorned with the most beautiful and unusual patterns – in five years of regular desert trips I have never seen the Liwa quite like this! The rain was undoubtedly plentiful, but whether it fell monsoon like or was just a prolonged bout of moderate rain, we will never know.

The rain will gradually seep through the top layers of sand and may stay damp quite near the surface for most of the winter – unless we have a heatwave!  Thus making it far easier to traverse the sand dunes for the next couple of months, including hopefully, for our Dark Skies Challenge in 4 weeks’ time!

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