Dubai sees severe flooding after getting 2 years worth of rain in 24 hours


(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) — Flood conditions continued to impact Dubai on Wednesday, after two years’ worth of rain fell in just 24 hours, records show.

Over a half foot — 6.26 inches — of rain was recorded in the United Arab Emirates city between 10 p.m. local time Monday and 10 p.m. local time Tuesday, according to the Dubai Meteorological Office.

Dubai receives 3.12 inches of rain per year on average, according to the World Meteorological Organization, meaning two years’ worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

The Dubai International Airport, the world’s second-busiest airport, said Wednesday it was facing “operational challenges” and advised passengers not to arrive as runways continued to be inundated with water. It said the “recovery process will take some time.”

Egyptian and Iraqi national carriers temporarily suspended flights to and from Dubai due to bad weather, EgyptAir and Iraqi Airways said on Wednesday.

Flydubai, UAE’s low-cost carrier, resumed partial operations Wednesday afternoon local time after temporarily suspending all of its flights departing from Dubai. There were further flight cancellations, it said.

The Dubai International Airport had temporarily diverted inbound flights that arrived Tuesday evening local time due to “exceptional weather,” the airport said in an alert.

All Dubai government entities and private schools were instructed to work remotely on Tuesday due to the weather conditions.

Dubai receives nearly all of its annual rain (over 92%) between the months of November and March. On average, Dubai typically receives just 0.13 inches of rain during the month of April.

United Arab Emirates saw the heaviest rain ever recorded in the country on Tuesday, killing at least one person and damaging homes and businesses, according to the UAE government.

The extreme weather hit other locations in the Gulf Peninsula. In neighboring Oman, at least 19 people died in severe flooding over three consecutive days, according to state media.

Human-amplified climate change is causing extreme rainfall events to become more frequent and more intense, according to the U.S. government’s Fifth National Climate Assessment.

More intense extreme rainfall events also increase the frequency and scale of flash flooding as the influx of water is more than the infrastructure was built to handle.

Climate change can increase the intensity, frequency and variability of extreme weather events.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.