Skip to Content


Home>Weather News>Dubai deluge: a year's rainfall in a day

Search Icon
Anthony Sharwood, 17 Apr 2024, 6:41 AM UTC

Dubai deluge: a year's rainfall in a day

Dubai deluge: a year's rainfall in a day

Flights have been unable to land or take off from flooded runways, chunks of major roads have eroded away, while motorists have been trapped on inundated freeways as rare heavy rainfall lashed Dubai.

More than 100 mm of rain fell within 24 hours across the desert city of almost six million people which is a popular stopover for Australians en route to Europe. That's more than the annual average of 94.7 mm.

The cooler months from December through to March generally produce Dubai's heaviest rain, with almost no rain on average in the hotter months and an average of around 7 mm in April.

Tuesday's unusually heavy rain was caused by "an extension of a surface low pressure system, accompanied by an extension of an upper air low pressure system" according to The National Center of Meteorology of the United Arab Emirates.

Dramatic footage showed planes awash on the submerged tarmac of Dubai Airport. All aircraft movements stopped for two hours on Tuesday evening with airport authorities urging travellers to check the status of flights through their airline.

Wednesday has dawned cloudy in Dubai and while torrential rain has ceased, schools have been shut across the city with the government encouraging workers to work remotely.

In neighbouring Oman, flash floods had claimed 18 victims, authorities said, while nearby Qatar and Bahrain also experienced moderate to heavy rainfall.

In late 2023 Dubai hosted COP28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, at which climate scientists warned that climate change would make flooding events in some arid parts of the world more severe when they occurred.

Image: A partially flooded road in Dubai in another heavy downpour in 2020. Source: Katiekk2 via iStock.

Note to media: You are welcome to republish text from the above news article as direct quotes from Weatherzone. When doing so, please reference in the credit.