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Dubai desert is hit with one of the worst-ever recorded rainfalls

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By Kouthar Sambo

In less than 24 hours, the Dubai desert had been hit with one of the worst-ever recorded rainfalls that flooded the area since 1949. This comes after the storms left a trail of destruction from the roads to the highways, killing 18 people, including several children in Oman earlier this week.

The Dubai International Airport announced that they were facing major disruptions after rain delayed or diverted the flights.

Speaking on VOC’s Drive Time show on Thursday, the Director of the Global Change Institute (GCI) at Wits University, Professor Francois Engelbrecht, described the phenomenon as “groundbreaking.”

“This part of the world typically gets less than 100 millimeters of rain per year. However, one of the weather stations close to Dubai reported about 256 milliliters of rain in just one day,” explained Engelbrecht.

He said that for a desert-like climate, this event is an extreme rainfall event, but will not necessarily occur frequently and attributed the event to a “change in climate” system.

“The change in the climate system will result in this occurring more frequently across the world. While it may not occur every in Dubai, the likelihood of this occurring has been increased.”

The weather system that caused these falls of rain in a cut-off low, said Engelbrecht, characterised by a natural rainfall event caused by a very large co-weather system, resulting in this magnitude of rain.

Furthermore, Engelbrecht stressed that the event was fueled by climate change and that climatologists are currently zooming into the record-breaking event.

Photo: Pexels

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