BY MOHAN VADAYAR
THREE days of continuous rains soaked Sharjah and other parts of the UAE as the emirate recorded 11.6 mm rain in the last 24 hours, with the temperature dropping to 23 degrees Celsius.
With summer round the corner, the region is said to be receiving "an extended monsoon" from the Indian sub-continent across the Arabian Sea.
The highest rainfall received by Sharjah in March was in 1982 156 mm of rain. There are recorded continuous rains for more than 24 hours in previous years too, according to Sharjah airport Met office. Only the intensity varied.
There were rains even in the summer days of June.
The hilly regions in the UAE are still bracing for another onslaught of rains and flash floods in the next couple of days.
Flash floods may endanger the lives of drivers in low-lying and vulnerable mountain regions of the UAE as torrential rains pose potential threat in the upcoming days, weather experts said.
The unsettled weather is expected to continue till Tuesday and heavy rains are expected all over the UAE.
There was hailstorm in Sharjah early morning on Saturday. The sudden drop in atmospheric temperature has caused the formation of ice cubes in the clouds, experts said.
Delighted youngsters went out to collect the ice cubes falling from the sky at the early moments of the day when the sky poured out at 2.30 am on Saturday.
The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology, linking the freak weather to a low-pressure trough over the Gulf, has advised motorists and fishermen to be cautious. More rain, sand storms and rough seas are expected all over the region.
People planning an outing during the weekend should take precautions and check for weather updates from the Met department before venturing out. Met office sources have asked beachgoers to stay away from the sea.
A marine warning had been issued as the strong winds with thunderstorms can cause waves rise up to 14 feet. The warning was issued till Tuesday.
The low pressure formed over Saudi Arabia and the still lingering cold wave in the northern parts of Europe are said to be the reasons for the current atmospheric conditions in this part of the world.
A mix of high pressure from the Arabian Sea and low pressure from the north caused the formation rain clouds over the peninsula, causing inclement weather in the region.
Thunderstorm and rain are forecast in the main land while the mountainous regions of Khor Fakkan and Fujairah received moderate rains since Monday.
The hot south-easterly wind is now clashing with the cooler, but weaker north-easterly Shamal. The entire week, therefore, will witness turbulent weather over the region. The sea will be rough making seafaring difficult and warning signals have been issued to seafarers and airports.