On the evening of October 29, a huge sandstorm blew through much of the United Arab Emirates and marked the change in seasons, from blazing hot summers to milder autumn temperatures or what passes for “winter” here. In some parts of the UAE, fierce sandstorms are screaming, or blowing, that winter has now arrived at the UAE. Now is the time to leave the shorts and the tank tops and switch them for some jackets and boots.
In the first picture there is a huge wild sandstorm. This picture was taken from the Raha International MYP library, and when the Raha Mall could be seen in sunny days from here, today not even the street could be seen quite clearly. The radio announced that this sandstorm had already been in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Around 4 or 5 o'clock, in Raha International School (also in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain) a massive amount of sand was blowing wildly around the campus. The people that were there at this time at the school had to cover their eyes so that sand wouldn't go into their eyes. And also people who were talking too much outside, experienced the taste of sand.
In the other picture, the main piazza is covered with flying sand. Because of the strong wind blowing, trash bins were tackled down, and palm trees were shaken. Sand started to accumulate in the sidewalks and the sand stuck to the benches.
Some advice would be that if there is a sandstorm outside, try to avoid it because sand can easily get into the eyes and in the worst cases the mouth. And also if you want to drive somewhere but there is a sandstorm going on, try to wait a little while because sandstorms can also act as fog: they both make it hard to see what's in front.
But, why do sandstorms happen?
First of all, a sandstorm is a very strong windstorm. Sandstorms are very common in the desert because of the convection currents which are caused by the intense heating of the ground. And because the UAE is a hot country sandstorms are quite common. Because this wind is so strong huge amounts of sand are blown into air, causing a sandstorm. When sandstorms happen, visibility is usually reduced. In desert regions at certain times of the year, sandstorms become more frequent because the strong heating of the air over the desert causes the lower atmosphere to become unstable.
So, grab you jackets and your boot and get ready for an exciting upcoming season of sandstorms in Abu Dhabi.