Heavy Rains, Rare Flash Floods Batter Dubai

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The Facts

  • Severe storms lashed the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, unleashing nearly two years' worth of rain on the desert city of Dubai in just 24 hours.

  • According to the UAE National Center of Meteorology, nearly 6.26 inches (159 mm) of rain fell over the emirate, which receives 3.14 inches (80 mm) of rain on average per year.

The Spin

Narrative A

Extreme weather events in Dubai — known for its dry conditions and arid climate — raise concerns about the increasingly evident impact of climate change in a region unaccustomed to heavy rain and flash flooding. Before exceptional weather becomes a regularity in the future as the planet warms, the UAE — one of the world's biggest oil producers — must curb carbon emissions to mitigate the potentially dangerous impacts of climate change.

Narrative B

The rains that swamped Dubai resulted from a larger storm system traversing the Arabian Peninsula and moving across the Gulf of Oman, bringing unusually wet weather. It's far too early to indicate that climate change played a role in the massive storms. Moreover, the city experienced rare flooding because its infrastructure wasn't designed to handle such unexpected rare weather events — given the lack of regular rainfall.

Metaculus Prediction

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