Dubai: Heavy fog continued to cover parts of the UAE on Sunday, reducing visibility and resulting in several flight delays and diversions.
Satellite images of the fog showed almost two-thirds of the country covered in thick fog from the northern and eastern parts in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah down to Al Ain and stretching towards Dubai and the interior parts.
Dubai Airports reported that several flights were delayed and a few were cancelled on Sunday. As of 8am, it said that flights from Milan, Vienna, Amman, Hyderabad, Munich, and more flights that were scheduled to land at around 6.30am onwards were delayed.
Earlier flights after midnight were diverted but were also scheduled to land at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 1 and 3.
According to flightradar24.com, a number of flights were delayed at Dubai International Airport, with an average delay time of 78 minutes.
On its Twitter page, Emirates said fog will impact arrivals and departures.
In Abu Dhabi, seven flights coming from Perth, four from Tokyo, two from Islamabad, and one flight from Jeddah were also delayed. At least 14 Etihad Airways flights were delayed on Sunday, according to its website.
On Saturday, the airline also reported delayed or cancelled flights due to heavy fog in Abu Dhabi on Friday night and Saturday morning.
The airline said that affected passengers have been given alternative accommodation and that it was monitoring weather conditions.
Police warn motorists
Motorists on Sunday morning faced yet another day with heavy fog, as road visibility dropped to less than 100 metres.
The thick fog led police across the UAE to issue warning to motorists to drive slow and safe, and not to switch on their hazard lights.
Dubai Police warned drivers on major highways busy routes to leave enough distance between vehicles ahead and not to overtake vehicles.
Dear drivers, Leave enough distance between vehicles ahead and do not overtake the front vehicles.#TrafficAwareness #DubaiPolice pic.twitter.com/ItejtjHuAk— Dubai Policeشرطة دبي (@DubaiPoliceHQ) December 24, 2017
Sharjah Police urged motorists to drive with caution due to the fog and low visibility, in order to avoid traffic accidents.
#تنويه : يرجى من الأخوة السائقين توخي الحذر وتخفيف السرعة أثناء القيادة نظراً لتشكل الضباب وانخفاض مستوى الرؤية الأفقية على بعض الطرق الخارجية
رافقتكم السلامة #شرطة_الشارقة pic.twitter.com/yRUJI1R11o— شرطة الشارقة (@ShjPolice) December 23, 2017
The National Centre of Meteorology also issued a cautionary message to motorists, advising road users of low visibility that dipped below 100 metres.
In Abu Dhabi, police warned motorists that they could be fined Dh500 with four black points if they are found violating the road traffic rules during the foggy weather conditions.
Brigadier Khalifa Mohammad Al Khaili, Director of the Traffic and Patrols Department of Abu Dhabi Police, urged motorists to exercise extra caution while driving during the fog and maintain distance between vehicles, avoid overtaking and use headlamps.
Foggy weather to continue
The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) said that the foggy weather is expected to continue until Tuesday.
Temperatures across UAE were also higher than they have been in the past week, with the lowest recorded temperature in Abu Dhabi’s Barakah area at 11 degrees Celsius at 7.15am on Sunday.
Fog will peak during the morning and into the night, with the level of dense fog continuing into Monday morning. The fog is expected to clear at around noon.
The weather bureau said that Sunday’s weather will be fair to partly cloudy in general and hazy at times.
The weather recorded by 8am was down at a cool 19 degrees Celsius, with expected lows of 12 degrees Celsius in coastal areas, between eight and 16 degrees Celsius in internal areas, and 10 to 16 degrees Celsius in the mountain region.
Also on Sunday, light to moderate winds will blow across the country, while the relative humidity will increase at night and into the early morning over most of the internal and coastal areas.
Humidity is forecast to increase during the night and early morning, bringing a chance of fog formation.
On Saturday, the fog started at 7:15pm in Sweihan, Al Rahba and Yas Island. The suspended vapor gradually blanketed most of the country’s interior and coastal areas.
The lowest level visibility on Saturday was recorded at 50 metres in Sweihan, Al Maktoum International Airport, Abu Dhabi Airport and Zayed City.
The National Center of Meteorology predicts the formation of fog and the deterioration of horizontal visibility on roads, especially the coastal, internal and northern regions, during this night and early on Monday morning. Get more weather updates here
With inputs from Janice Ponce de Leon and Anwar Ahmad, Staff Reporters