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.
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 raindrop effect
the sand never looks grey when it is dry!
all sand wet but white sand doesnt change colour like the red stuff
meanwhile on the sabkah
looks like someone has been out “combing” the slipface!
drying out from the top down
rain must have cascaded in a swirl down here
mother nature has been wielding a paintbrush?
must have been spectacular during the rain
only drying out where the sun catches it
how many shades?
this must have looked spectacular with water running in multiple directions
sharp edges after the rain
normally these dunes are red all the way to the top
islands of red sand
dusted with talcum?
look at the lines in the bowl top middle
slowly drying out
Could some 1970s wallpaper have been inspired by this?
sandslip -just too heavy with the rain
beginning to dry out but still interesting!
crusty coating on top of the dune
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!