Weather tracker: Gulf braced for thunderstorms | Saudi Arabia

Intense thunderstorms are forecast across parts of the Gulf on Monday and Tuesday, bringing very high rainfall to the region and a significant flooding risk in parts.

Low pressure over the Arabian peninsula will deepen on Monday while a flow of moist tropical air moves into the region, significantly enhancing the production of showers as a result.

Shower activity will increase through Monday with the development of a line of severe thunderstorms to the east of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, which will push onwards into southern parts of the United Arab Emirates. Heavy downpours are expected, with some places expected to get up to 40mm of rain within three hours, alongside outbreaks of hail. Blustery conditions are also anticipated, with the risk of dust storms that could hinder visibility.

Widespread thunderstorms will continue to develop within the Gulf overnight, pushing farther north into the UAE and dominating the forecast throughout Tuesday. By the time thunderstorms ease on Tuesday evening, about 40mm of rain is expected to have fallen widely across northern parts of the UAE within 24 hours, with more than 100mm possible for the northernmost tip of the country.

Dubai, which typically receives about 7mm on average for the entire month of April, may get up to 100mm, with even higher totals possible.

Much of Europe has been undergoing exceptionally mild conditions for the time of year, with a multitude of records broken in Spain and France over the weekend. Temperatures in northern parts of Spain were akin to those usually experienced in summer, with highs in the 30s celsius. The maximum temperature recorded was 33.5C on Saturday at Miranda de Ebro in Castilla y Leon.

Meanwhile, more than 150 maximum monthly temperature records were broken on the same day in France, with a peak of 32.4C at Sabres. However, this is soon to change, with much cooler conditions forecast this week across much of Europe, bringing the potential for overnight frost.

Finally, it has been confirmed that March 2024 was the warmest on record globally. This is also the 10th consecutive month that has broken the average global temperature record for that month. While the heat can be linked to El Niño’s ongoing phase in the Pacific Ocean, climate scientists are concerned that records may continue to fall, even as El Niño tapers off in the coming months.

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