Tuesday’s surprise: rain, in late March!

rain 2

Photo credit The National. You can find more photos of the rain here.

After days of grey skies and wind and dust, we woke up to rain this morning. I know I heard some pitter patter at the break of dawn but didn’t realize it had been raining heavily outside. I mean, c’mon, it’s already March – though I am not complaining at all. I love the rain!

tue rain 2 umb

But I’ve lived in the UAE 11 years and never experience rain in late March. This kind of rain should’ve come in November like in 2012 where we had heavy tropical type rains sending people (including us) outside to literally dance in the rain. That’s what living in the desert do to people, it makes every drop of rain precious and a five minute rain, a carnival.

There was flooding everywhere this morning and this has to happen when my car is still at the service center. I had to wade in some floodwaters from home to the Metro station this morning and I realized, while looking around and seeing people running that really, not many people own an umbrella in Dubai. Some were just winging it with hoodies, shawls, some plastic material and for some, even toy umbrella, probably borrowed from their little daughters.

flood

According to local newspaper, Gulf News,

After two days of unstable weather, UAE’s skies will stabilise on Wednesday giving way to partly cloudy to cloudy weather but only for a day. Forecasters expect another round of weather instability beginning Thursday.

I think I won’t mind a rainy weekend. Now to find a good book to read.

July and August is rainy season in the Philippines

storm clouds

The months of July-August (our scheduled vacation to the Philippines) is rainy season. We could have chosen better time like the peak of summer from March-May  though the weather is hot but at least plans won’t be squashed by torrential rains and thunderstorms but oh well, we can only travel once school is out so it’s only July-August for us.

If you plan to travel during these months, (big) chances are that you’re going to get wet. True enough, when we arrived on 11th July, it was raining in Manila. But rainy season as it is, it won’t rain the whole day, every day. Monsoon will bring rain mostly during afternoons and early evenings. So if you’re going to venture out later in the day, better bring your umbrellas, unless you really love to be soaked in the rain (yes, there are people who really like to do this…more on them later)

rain in lim ket kai

Up until July 20th, it was only slightly drizzling in the afternoons/evening in Cagayan de Oro City. However, after that, it has been raining EVERY DAY. And it’s not the typical rain that we see and experience in Dubai – it’s like a bucket has been poured over your head kind of rain.

But these little people clearly don’t mind.

rain collage

Many adults don’t like when it’s raining but kids absolutely love it. Tell me you didn’t attempt to get wet in the rain when you were younger?

rain ben 1

rain ben 2

Apparently, when you grow up or live in a very dry place like Dubai where the sun shines 330 times a year, you get excited when the skies turn dark. And you keep looking up when big, fat drops of rain start to fall from the sky.

rain ben 3

rain ben 4

I used to hate it when it rains, especially when I don’t carry an umbrella with me, and then the parts of the city gets flooded and I’m stuck somewhere waiting for public transport when I was still a student here.

rain ben 5

But now, I realize, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was right: 

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

rain in dubai

First Dubai rain in 2014

rain in dubai

I heard someone squeal in the office corridor, near the window. You’d think someone jumped from inside the building. But now, it’s just rained in Dubai and one of the lady employees shrieked.

Rain doesn’t happen often so it is welcomed with so much joy. And this kind of weather lands in the front news.

It’s also cold…but only because we are all under-dressed. We put on some sweater/cardigan and that’s it. It’s either too hot to put on a real winter jacket or it looks ridiculous, especially if the sun is back 10 minutes after the rain. Still you can see people walking around in leather jackets!

I got wet yesterday as I didn’t have an umbrella…who carries an umbrella when the sun is shining 330 days in a year? The rest 35 days are either cloudy, sandstorm and a little chance of rain.

rain in dubai

It’s been raining but not like the rain in November 2012.

Then with rain comes puddles and flooding in some parts of the city and of course, traffic. Last night took a longer drive home and I wondered if the traffic lights were shorter than usual or was there any accident on the roads but no, nothing. People just drive differently when it rains here.

And with colder weather comes the flu season too – first Benjamin was sick, then I was sick and suddenly I wasn’t sick anymore and Pristine is sick. Then the nanny got sick and the nanny is well again. But Pristine is still sick so we went to a third doctor and she must have taken the right meds this time because she didn’t bark that much last night.

rain in dubai

I love the rain but I think it’s time for the sun to come back. The office is too cold (I don’t understand the need to turn up the aircondition when it’s not that hot outside), I’m done with the kids getting sick, especially if they are both blanket kickers and I’m done with the traffic, too.

November exited with grandeur – RAIN!

I told you it would rain in November. It always did for the past six Novembers that we’ve been here! Today is the last day of the month and November decided she’ll leave with an impression: RAIN!! I’m not talking of little spits of tiny raindrops that don’t even last for five minutes. I’m talking of real deal, proper rain – like how it is in the normal world! It has not rained hard like this ever!

Being a desert area, rain is very, very rare that my son only knew what rain is 13 months after he was born. So what happens when it rains in Dubai? Not only in lands in the news but it gets people excited – we go out, we stare at the sky (and wish it would last longer and longer) and children and adults alike go out and get wet!

My very ecstatic daughter called up her friends who I bet were still sleeping that time (it’s a Friday, a typical lie-in day for most of us here in the UAE) and asking them to go out and dance in the rain!

Here’s another video taken just outside our building. Dubai being a city NOT built to withstand heavy rains, the side of the street was immediately filled with gush of flood waters. Our balcony was flooded too as the small drainage hole was filled and choked with sand!

It’s always a joy when it rains here. We’re so lucky it did on a Friday too so we can all go outside, not trapped in our offices and wish we were outside. I wish of more days like this in the remaining ‘winter’ months!

Predict Dubai’s first rain of the season 2012

You know what November means for us desert dwellers? Cooler, nicer weather and RAIN! I started a poll in 2009 to let my readers predict the first rain of the season. Rain comes to Dubai only on the cooler months between November to March. The last time it rained here this year was March (I think) but yeah, we have been very dry for quite a while.

So, when do you think we Dubaians will get our first drop of rain of the season?

Predict a date and win a prize! Here are the rules:

  1. Pick a date from today, 5th November onto the 30th (I’m pretty sure it’ll rain before the end of this month so I didn’t include December)
  2. Leave a comment with your date of choice (your bet Dubai’s going to have the first rain of the season). If you leave your blog URL in the comment form, I’ll link to it.
  3. This post will be updated with the names of the commentors as they come in.
  4. You can pick any one date but I’ll open the bets to three people per day only. Once three people have picked a day, that day will be closed.
  5. When the skies open up and we get rain here, with the road getting wet – the road has to get wet so a 10 second drizzle isn’t counted, then I’ll announce the winner(s)! Naturally, once it rains, this contest will be closed.
  6. I will update all of you of the weather via Twitter, so if you are on there be sure to follow me – @sandierpastures on Twitter.

I’ll include a news clip/article for evidence – rain in Dubai always land in the news so you’ll know this game is fair. ;-)

The prize will be $30 cash via PayPal or if you do not have a PayPal account, an equivalent Amazon gift certificate or if you’re from UAE, a 100 dhs gift certificate to Kinokuniya bookstore is yours!

* This contest is open worldwide.

Now hit the comments with your bets!

  1. November 5 –
  2. November 6 –
  3. November 7 –
  4. November 8 –
  5. November 9 – Christina Cosa (entry received through email), Ghadeer
  6. November 10 –
  7. November 11 –
  8. November 12 – Erika
  9. November 13 –
  10. November 14 –
  11. November 15 – ilen
  12. November 16 –
  13. November 17 –
  14. November 18 – Jessica
  15. November 19 –
  16. November 20 –
  17. November 21 –
  18. November 22 –
  19. November 23 – Christina, Cindy Brooks
  20. November 24 –
  21. November 25 – Abigail @ Nappy Tales, Virgini Shan (entry received through email)
  22. November 26 –
  23. November 27 – m
  24. November 28 – FlippedGarfield (entry received via Twitter)
  25. November 29 – Marcy, anthony peterson
  26. November 30 – Maura

Someone called Iris voted for December 6.

The prize is not much but wouldn’t it be fun if it rains on the date you think it will? Good luck and wish us rain, soon! 🙂

Top photo credit

Predict Dubai’s first rain of the season 2010!

UPDATE: This is the part where I’m allowed to say, OH SHIT!

It’s 5:30 pm in Dubai, November 8 and? it RAINED. I love you rain but you were not supposed to pour on the day I post the predict-the-Dubai-rain contest! Such a kill joy!

Sorry friends, I have to close this. It rained on November 22 last year and now, it’s just November 8. Dubai weather is totally unpredictable and seeing the lovely morning weather today? Who knew it would really look like this in the afternoon:

bad ass rain clouds

bad ass rain clouds

Local newspaper Gulf News have confirmed the rain here. So contest CLOSED.

*****

As of yesterday morning, this was how the skies looked like:

clouds 2010.11.07

It looked like this this morning too.

I almost forgot – it’s November and there’s always something I look forward to every year in November (not my birthday). Thanks to my friend Krista, now I remember.

RAIN!

The last time it rained here was a long time ago, in March or April. I’ve not been keeping record this year but yeah, we’re pretty much so dry here. Speaking of rain, I’ll bring up last year’s contest of predicting our first rain of the season! Clouds have been sneaking out once in a while and there had been times when I looked up and said to myself, “it might rain today” so we’ll never really know exactly when.

So, when do you think we Dubaians will get our first drop of rain of the season?

Predict a date and win a prize! Here are the rules:

  1. Pick a date from today, 8th November onto the 30th (I’m pretty sure it’ll rain before the end of this month so I didn’t include December)
  2. Leave a comment with your date of choice (your bet Dubai’s going to have the first rain of the season). If you leave your blog URL in the comment form, I’ll link to it.
  3. This post will be updated with the names of the commentors as they come in.
  4. You can pick any one date but I’ll open the bets to three people per day only. Once three people have picked a day, that day will be closed.
  5. When the skies open up and we get rain here, with the road getting wet – the road has to get wet so a 10 second drizzle isn’t counted, then I’ll announce the winner(s)! Naturally, once it rains, this contest will be closed.

I’ll include a news clip/article for evidence – rain in Dubai always land in the news so you’ll know this game is fair. 😉

The prize will be something Dubai-themed, I’m not going to reveal what it is yet so it’s a surprise! Now here are the dates, go!

  1. November 8 – it RAINED!!
  2. November 9
  3. November 10
  4. November 11
  5. November 12
  6. November 13
  7. November 14 – Elizabeth
  8. November 15
  9. November 16
  10. November 17
  11. November 18
  12. November 19
  13. November 20
  14. November 21 – Anton de Leon
  15. November 22 – Krista
  16. November 23
  17. November 24
  18. November 25
  19. November 26
  20. November 27 – Elizabeth Doan
  21. November 28
  22. November 29
  23. November 30

Good luck and wish us rain, soon!

Sandstorm, thunderstorm, what next?

The sands were moving as I got down from the bus on my way home yesterday afternoon. The wind was strong. Sandstorm!

sandstorm

* Photo not my own but still depicting the sandstorm in Dubai. *

I couldn’t open my eyes because unfortunately, I was walking on the opposite direction as the wind. The wind picked up the sand and smacked me right in the face, in the arms, neck, all over! When I got home, I was surprised to find sand in my brassiere because of the sand attack!! Also, I swear I was closing my mouth but WTH, I had sand in my tongue, too.

The weather this morning was gloomy. I miss the glorious sunrise!

Sunrise in Dubai

~ Sunrise during winter ~

One thing I’ve learned while living here is that, we really get lots of beautiful sunrise in the winter months of November-February. When the summer season approaches, we get the boring gray clouds in the morning and of late, strange weather like sandstorm-rain-hot sun-rain again kind of freakish weather.

This morning when I drove to work, it rained! Talk about big fat drops of rain and strong winds, like in tropical countries. It was a little scary to drive in the rain. This sounds strange but after more than two years of living and driving in Dubai, the sight of the car window wipers hard at work disturbs me. A lot. I mean, we only use these wipers a few times a year so the constant movement of these 2 black things in front of me is pretty distracting.

dark-clouds

~ gray skies ~

But who am I to complain, when usually during this time of the year that we sweat and heave and sigh of the heat and Turkish bath like humidity, this morning’s cloud cover brought down the temperature to a lovely 26C!

From where are you and how is the weather in your area? It it a lovely spring day?

Rain, in March?

umbrella-with-raindrops

Seriously, you gotta think that something’s amiss. It is RAINING, hard, in Dubai, in March! The last rain we got was around the first week of January and usually no wet day until around November/December – at least in my two years of stay here, it never rained in March in 2007 and 2008. And now, there are reports of hail and thunderstorms all over the UAE.

Pristine got too excited to use her small yellow umbrella today because she only uses it like, what, 2-3 days in a year? LOL!

It is the last day of work today so I am looking forward to the rainy weather tonight or tomorrow morning so I can sleep longer while listening to the sound of the rain. Mmmm, I can already feel it.

Sorry, living in the desert makes me miss and appreciate the rain (despite the heavy traffic that results) so if you have too much rain in your place, don’t hate it, send it here, ok?

But I am not sure if Pristine would be happy with the rain tomorrow, though because it means no swimming on the beach!

playing-in-water

Photos and story of the rain is in Gulf News.

It’s raining but I don’t mind

We’re having continuous bad weather for three consecutive days now. Dubai bad weather means gray skies and dropletsof rain but this morning, we woke up to a real downpour. The forecast says more rain will be expected today. Rain is a rare occurrence here in the UAE (although it has rained a lot in 2007 than in 2006) so I don’t mind a little rain every now and then. If only it doesn’t immediately flood, that is!

The rain clouds behind me.

Jan 15 morning rain

Photo taken on my side mirror while driving to work today.

By the time I reached Deira (and got stucked in heavy traffic), the skies have cleared up.

clear skies in Deira

Here’s an interesting photo from Gulf News taken at night in Sheikh Zayed Road, where the tall buildings are. Notice how the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building also the world’s most popular lightning conductor (due to its height) – was struck by lightning last night.

So it’s a little bit chilly again today and I like it. I’ll enjoy this weather until the dreaded summer comes.

when it rains, it (simply) floods

I knew these morning clouds were up to something.

By 9 am last Thursday, it rained again for an hour flooding the streets and creating massive traffic. Some roads are blocked, some have closed 2 lanes out of 4 as no one wants to pass in the deep flood water.

Splash! Weee!

Even the flyover was flooded. Unbelievable. For a few minutes of rain, most major parts of the city is submerged. You ask, why? Most roads here do NOT have drainage holes (we’re in the desert where rain is not anticipated) and places where drainage holes exist are useless. It is clogged with sand.

While we were passing this road going home, we passed by two cars whose engine stopped due to the water.