Sand and more sand on first day of spring

As the northern hemisphere greets the first day of spring (Japan declares this day a public holiday), here in the UAE, we got nothing but sand, sand and more sand. Dust, too.

Strong winds kicked up dust and sand and reduced visibility all over the country.

It’s bad enough that there is really no season of “spring”, no tulips springing on sidewalks and beautiful cherry blossoms, then we got this nasty sandstorm upon us for the past four days.

When looking out from our apartment balcony, we normally see this:

For the past few days, the buildings are a no-show:

NASA satellite capture the thick dust/sand hovering our skies:

A bit apocalyptic, hey. How’s spring from where you are?

First sandstorm of 2012

There you go… the first sand storm of 2012. Last Friday, strong winds picked up dust and sand and blanketed Dubai, reducing the visibility to 800 meters. In this part of the road, tall buildings including the world’s tallest Burj Khalifa should appear on the right but nah, they are in invisible mode.


Needless to say, it wasn’t a good day to be outside. My cousins had a reservation for desert safari but had to cancel it – who would want to spend time outside in the vast desert closing their eyes? Or having sand in their food?

The car swayed as strong winds battered from its side, made me recall how strong these winds are during sandstorm of 2011.

Sand storms during the ‘winter’ months of Dubai not only bring sand (a lot of it), it also signals the coming of warmer days and usually tells us, it is time to crank up the air condition at home!

Aftermath of Friday’s sandstorm

The very strong sandstorm last Friday uprooted and split trees all over the city. There are reports of  some flying billboards smashing parked cars!In all our four years of living in Dubai, that sandstorm was the worst. It even lasted for more than 30 minutes.

Here are some damage to plants on my way to work yesterday.

sandstorm Dubai

Trees with branches split by the strong wind.

sandstorm Dubai

The men in green started their work early to clean up the cut up trees.

sandstorm Dubai

Dubai sandstorm January 28, 2011

We were out today at the Dubai Japanese School to attend their Sports Day program when a huge sandstorm so strong, refusing to stop halted all activities and had us running back into the building!

Sandstorm in Dubai January 28, 2011 from Sandier Pastures on Vimeo.

Another video:

Dubai Sandstorm – January 28, 2011 from Sandier Pastures on Vimeo.

This is the first major sandstorm we’ve seen since we came here in 2007. It’s scary and sand hurts!

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!


* 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.


~ 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?