JoKeR
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Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 4:07 am

With the freak snowfalls in the northern United Arab Emirates over the past two days, my question is whether airports such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi are capable and would be able to respond to below-the-freezing temperatures (de-icing), even snow accumulation within the airport perimeter, if it was ever to happen.

Heck it seems that anything is possible these days, even snow in Arabia  Wow!



Cold snap brings Gulf rare snow

Snow has fallen in the United Arab Emirates for the first time in years, shocking residents of a desert country better known for its 50C summer heat.
Meteorologists reported heavy snowfall on the mountains of Ras al Khaimah, the federation's most northerly Emirate, as a cold snap gripped the region.

Many people told local media it was the first snowfall there in living memory.

"This is certainly a rare occurrence that happens every 20 to 30 years," a forecaster told Reuters news agency.

Prayers for rain

Local newspapers said people were stunned by the white blanket of snow in the Al-Jees mountain cluster.

The range "had heavy night-time snowfall for the past two days as a result of temperatures dropping to as low as -5C [23F]", according to the Gulf News.

Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, crown prince and deputy ruler of Ras al Khaimah, visited the mountains to see the snow and brought some back to show people, the paper said.

Temperatures in Dubai, which attracts large numbers of tourists seeking winter sun, dipped as low as 12C (53.6F) on Wednesday night. In summer they can top 50C (122F).

Heavy rain led to hundreds of accidents on the roads on Monday, Dubai's police said, because drivers were unaccustomed to the conditions.

Forecasters said the region's chilly spell would probably end by next week, AFP news agency reports.

Only a month ago, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other sheikhs led Muslims across the Emirates in prayers for rain.

Demand for water has far outstripped supply in the UAE in recent years, with rainfall well below the seasonal average.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4135857.stm
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AlitaliaMD11
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 4:09 am

hey


it also snowed here in Madrid, which is very un-usual.

The airport was backed up for a little while.


I think that all airports are required to have the equipment to handle such situations. So I doubt there will be a problem.
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andz
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 4:21 am

I think that all airports are required to have the equipment to handle such situations. So I doubt there will be a problem.

There are definitely no de-icers at JNB and we get snow more frequently than every 20-30 years!
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AlitaliaMD11
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 4:25 am

well they should be required to have the equipment!
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Unique
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 4:33 am

Meteorologists reported heavy snowfall on the mountains of Ras al Khaimah

DXB Airport is elevated 34 feet while it was snowing at probably 3400 feet or higher! That's quite a difference!

Temperatures in Dubai dipped as low as 12C (53.6F) on Wednesday night

12° C is way too warm to form snow!

[Edited 2004-12-30 20:35:05]
 
Alessandro
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 4:36 am

Sure it was snow not hail?
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HAWK21M
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 4:40 am

Wish it would snow in Mumbai some day  Smile
How is the UAE coping.
regds
MEL
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JoKeR
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 4:46 am

Unique,

My question was purely a "what-if" scenario, evident if the post was read carefully.

I am very aware of the difference of altitudes as well as climatic conditions it requires for snow to fall and stay on the ground; and sure, Dubai experienced none.

Andz, thanks for your point, very true. So I guess in a freak snowfall in the UAE, Airports would simply wait for all of it to go I suppose...
Kafa, čaj, šraf?
 
antares
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:54 am

It snows somewhere in the UAE about once every five years. These falls were not as low as the one that happened in the 90s and also in Saudi Arabia.

A friend says he was on an adventure trip in Libya some years ago (when it must have been quite an adventure) with an Australian called Warwick Deacock and it snowed in the interior. Apparently again not common but not all that rare either.

I live in the Victorian highlands and we had a trace of snow on the ground after Christmas, and it is the height of the Aussie summer and when I was a kid sailing past what was Dutch New guinea in those days on my Dad's freighter (he was a marine engineer) he showed me the equatorial snows around Catstenz Pyramid one morning and you could see quite a bit more detail with binoculars. Was rare for the clouds to lift.

A Qantas pilot who was a friend of the family after the war told us that you often used to glimpse fresh snow on the highest peaks of PNG if you hauled a DC-3 over the inland, which was apparently a real struggle, since you had to get to 15,000 feet and then navigate very carefully to make it to Lae or Madang, I can't remember which.

 
CcrlR
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:20 pm

Wow I am speechless. Well as for us we haven't had that much but I hope we do!
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Newark777
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:21 pm

So much for global warming.  Smile

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kaputt
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:39 pm

"So much for global warming."
HAHA really...
but that is quite an event to happen over there
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clickhappy
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:42 pm

it didn't snow in Dubai  Smile It was still 12c!
 
antares
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 3:52 pm

Good point about global warming. Where I live most of the year the last five ski seasons back to back have been the most consistently good ever recorded in Australia.

But I got corrected very politely about whether this meant global warming was wrong by one of our neighbours, who works in the CSIRO Atmospheric Research division. He says the global warming sloganeering is way toooo simplistic. The models for Australia also predicted discrete cooling in the eastern half of the country which is what we have observed based on highest temperature data since around 1994. And the freezing level in winter has generally come down a little, again predicted for eastern Australia.

What global warming looks like doing is putting a lot of extra energy into the weather systems, so we will get more extreme weather, and the underlying trend will always be warmer on a world scale until we at least fix the man-made inputs.

The 'freak' cold events will stand out because they will increasingly be seen as unusual.

 
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TS-IOR
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 5:27 pm


In Tunisia it snows almost every year mainly in the mountainous north and south western region where the airports of Tabarka and Gafsa are situated and i don't think that de-icing devices are available.

In Tunis we are experiecing a cloudy, windy and freezing weather...don't cancel your vacations anyway... Big grin
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 6:37 pm

Let's not all forget the 3-day period when it snowed in Sydney in Aug, and caused the airport to be closed. It happens and catches people off guard.

Tsunamis are rare in the Indian Ocean (almost unheard off) until recently. So anything can happen.
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eg777er
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 6:43 pm

Global "Warming" is more about freak weather (both hot/cold) as a result of overall temperature rise and thermal flow disruption than saying "the world's going to get hotter."

In Bahrain we've got photos of ice hanging from palm trees during a harsh winter in the 1960s, that was at sea level.
 
antares
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 7:29 pm

Ryanair,

It didn't snow in Sydney last August. The temperature never fell below 16 C. it hailed. A lot. People snowboarded on it and it dented a few jets, although not as many as the moster hail storm of April 99.

The only snowfall ever recorded at Observatory Hill, the actual site of the Sydney Weather Bureau, was on June 28, 1836, and no, I do not have a clear recollection of the event!

This was reported as a drifting snow fall down to the tide line but melted away by 11 am in freezing rain.

In 1964, 1965 and 1983 snow was reported from some Sydney suburbs, mainly the higher ones, and in the sixties it was observed to settle on the ground briefly in the upper North Shore, and fell so heavily on Mangrove Mountain overlooking Gosford the chicken sheds were collapsed.

There were also a few fairly convincting reports in 1951 and 1952. I remember the cold outbreak in 1951 when we had snow on the ground two days in a row in parts of Melbourne.

But the great snows of the 60s seem hard to imagine these days, good ski seasons notwithstanding. In the mid 60s Mt Whilhelm and Guillewe were often snow capped in PNG, rarely today. And most of the glaciers of West Papua as it is now called have vanished, having formed during the Little Ice Age and finally all but but melted away despite a recharge in the 60s.

 
OHLHD
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:03 pm

If you read the articel correct you will see that it snowed in the mountains.


The UAE are quite big and they are not Dubai all alone.
 
andrewuber
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:14 pm

Having lived in Dubai, I can tell you that rain is definately an event over there. You certainly want to stay away from the left lanes of Sheikh Zayed Road, as the locals in their Land Cruisers still think they can do 150 km/h, and cause numerous accidents when the roads get wet. I doubt it would ever snow in Dubai, but if it did - stay inside!!!

I remember after one rain in 2001, the Gulf News reported that "More of this phenomenon was possible in the coming days" (talking about rain). Gulf News - I hate to tell you this, but rain is really not a phenomenon, it's actually quite well understood!  Big thumbs up
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NumberTwelve
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:22 pm

Newark777: "So much for global warming. "

Maybe your government makes jokes about global warming - but also unusual cold winter in different parts of the world isn't good for us, too.
And your president's "joke" that if weather is getting warmer, A/C has to be turned on earlier, isn't a joke but shows how stupid he is.

What happened in south east asia can happen without a Tsuami but areas will be flooded very easily if the poles begin to melt. So think about areas like the Maledives, Pacific islands etc who don't have any mountains and are just a few meters higher than the sea.
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flyingKangaroo
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:58 pm

It was raining when I was transiting through Dubai on Monday. As my mum remarked, "It's raining in the desert!!"

flyingKangaroo

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A388
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:30 pm

All these events remind me of the movie "The Day After Tomorrow". Sounds scary. Even though events seen on this movie will probably not be that extreme, the scientists interviewed on the second dvd of the movie do all state the same, that we will see more of these 'rare' events happening worldwide. Like I just said, it sounds scary...

Hope we will all be able to cope with these (extreme) weather changes.

A388  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
fraspotter
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:45 pm

I was in the UAE (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and Al Ain) in April and it was too hot to even think that it could ever snow there. I guess I was wrong. I wonder how the people down there are coping. Most of them probably have never even seen snow in person before.

Cheers...
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planemannyc
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Sat Jan 01, 2005 12:09 am

My cousin flew from Abu Dhabi yesterday. The snow was restricted to Ras al-Khaimah and did not affect AUH or DXB -- although he heard about the rain. When I was in Dubai earlier this year, people said it hardly rains there -- less than an inch in most years. I am not sure about ops at Ras al Khaimah airport.

Best,

Wasim / Planemannyc
 
IL76TD
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Sat Jan 01, 2005 12:27 am

You all need to start reading the entire thread before posting, in addition to reading the initial post, it never got below 12 degrees C in dubai, and the snowfall was limited to about 2 inches at 5000 feet altitude and above. 12 C isn't even close to freezing, which, for all of you experts, is generally required for snowfall.

And for you (IQ) NumberTwelve, considering your country has banned nuclear power in order to return to burning coal and oil, I believe it is you and your leaders who are truly stupid.
 
as739x
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Sat Jan 01, 2005 2:23 am

Actually guy and gals, you can still be requiered to de-ice at 12C. Here at SFO we had a plane get de-iced on Wednesday when it was 12c. I also could here over the radio some planes in Oakland and San Jose being de-iced. If you have planes doing quick turned and build up a good layer of ice going through that 5,000 ft level, its possible. In most cases though, you can turn the boost pumps on to move th fuel around, at 12c that useally takes care of the problem.
The most prone (for Alaska Air Group) our MD80's and CRJ where the fuel tank is basically the wing surface. Other types have a seperate tank casing and wing surface which are not a prone to ice.


ASSFO
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B747FE
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Sat Jan 01, 2005 2:42 am

Flight ops at Ras Al Khaimah airport are very quiet. Just a couple of flights per day.
I guess it was not affected.
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yhmfan
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RE: Snowfall In The United Arab Emirates

Sat Jan 01, 2005 4:22 am

If I were in charge of DXB, here are my choices:

1. Run out and spend Millions $$$ on equipment to deal with snow.
Maintain them for the next 20-30 years in tip top shape
Train personnel to use them for the next 20-30 years
Assuming they are not obsolete by the time the next snow comes,
use them to clear the snow and de-ice the aircraft.

OR

2. Don't do anything and hope you retire before it snows again!
If it does snow before you retire, wait a couple of hours for nature to
take its course and melt the stuff.


Hmmmmm tough choice!  Big grin

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