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Pilot films what Dubai storms look like from 41,000 feet in the sky

A bird's-eye view of the storms over Dubai
  • Dubai recently experienced record rainfalls
  • Around 14cm (5.5 in.) of rain fell in a day, about as much as it expects in a year-and-a-half
  • The rain flooded motorways and homes, caused schools to stay shut, and affected flights

Published on Apr 29, 2024 at 8:30PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 30, 2024 at 5:56PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have seen Dubai recently experienced serious storms.

Heavy thunderstorms lashed the UAE, dumping the heaviest rain ever recorded in the country in the span of 24 hours.

Whilst it was described by those on the ground as ‘like an alien invasion’, it was pretty spectacular from 41,000 feet in the sky, too.

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A video, uploaded to Instagram, shows a bird’s-eye view of the storms over Dubai.

Captured by Tim Hearn, the video shows the impressive light show provided by Mother Nature, as he flew over Bahrain and Dubai.

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Around 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) of rain – roughly twice the UAE’s yearly average – fell in a single day, leaving much of the city’s outdoor infrastructure underwater.

About 300 flights to and from Dubai International Airport were canceled, and hundreds were delayed due to airport flooding.

Speaking of airports, the world’s largest airport is being built in Dubai and will feature five parallel runways.

Some reports have linked the extreme weather to ‘cloud seeding’, in which small planes are flown through clouds burning special salt flares, which can increase precipitation.

The UAE, which relies on desalination plants to provide water, carries out cloud seeding in part to increase its dwindling, limited groundwater.

However, weather experts have stated they doubt cloud seeding contributed to the downpours.

Instead, they believe that climate change is leading to increasing amounts of rain in the area.

Rain is unusual in the UAE, an arid Arabian Peninsula nation, but occurs periodically during the cooler winter months.

And with many roads and other areas lacking drainage, flooding is caused when it happens in freak circumstances like this.

To be fair, though – Dubai wasn’t the only place to be hit by bad weather, with rain also falling heavily in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Oman.

Even Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan couldn’t escape the horrendous weather, with both countries seeing buildings collapse due to heavy rain and flash flooding.

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