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Understanding UAE’s Winter: From Suhail Star to Peak Cold

Although cooler breezes may be noticed, NCM notes that the formal start of winter in the UAE occurs after December 21.

Dr. Ahmed Habib from the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) clarifies that although cooler breezes may be felt, the official start of winter in the UAE is after December 21, approximately 100 days after the appearance of the Suhail star in August.

Significance of the Suhail Star and Seasonal Transition:

The appearance of the Suhail star, observed near the southern horizon, signifies the shift towards winter in the UAE. 

As winter progresses, temperatures drop notably, and the country experiences an increase in rainfall until March, influenced by surface low pressure and jet streams from the West.

Around December 22, coinciding with the Northern hemisphere’s winter solstice, the UAE gears up for its coldest three-month season. 

Experts predict that this winter’s peak will occur in mid-January, bringing frigid conditions, especially in mountainous areas.

Peak Winter and ‘Severe Cold’ Period:

The Emirates Astronomy Society forecasts a significant drop in temperatures below five °C, particularly in mountainous regions, during mid-January.

This span, lasting around 10 days, is considered the ‘severe cold’ phase within the Gulf heritage calendar of the Al Drour system.

Ibrahim Al Jarwan from the Emirates Astronomical Society notes that this peak period signifies the coldest winter phase in the Arabian Peninsula. 

Temperatures are expected to plummet below 5°C in the desert and below 0°C in high mountainous areas, depicting the extreme nature of this period.

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