Cyclone rumours kick up a storm on UAE social networks

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    By Joseph George  www.emirates247.com
    The dusty, hazy and near-zero-visibility weather this morning sent social networks into a storm of rumours and scaremongering.
    Dust and sandstorms have been sweeping across the Gulf for the last few days reducing visibility to near-zero, as this picture in Saudi Arabia shows. (Al Bayan)
    Dust and sandstorms have been sweeping across the Gulf for the last few days reducing visibility to near-zero, as this picture in Saudi Arabia shows. (Al Bayan)

    Twitter and Blackberry services were full of warning signs of a cyclone hitting the UAE, heading over from Saudi Arabia.

    The National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) warned of a further drop in temperature and a change in wind direction, but there was no cyclone being forecast.

    Sand and dust continues to blow across most of the country for the second day in a row on Sunday as traffic was severely affected.

    “The #sandstorm in #Dubai is really strong! There’s even a rumor that a #cyclone (strongest one ever recorded) will occur @ 1 PM,” said a tweet entry @monzour_abacan.

    Another tweet entry by @FaiDotAm said, “Dubai news: Attention people! Pls remain indoors as we have confirmed that a cyclone is about to hit U.A.E.”

    A senior official at NCMS said an update is awaited soon and that the weather would continue to remain stormy for most of the day.

    An update on NCMS.ae said, “Wind is southerly at first, then the northwesterly winds will start affecting the western areas, and gradually extend towards rest of the areas, with a fall in day temperatures. Winds will be fresh to strong, especially over the sea and the internal open land areas, causing blowing dust/sand, and reducing the horizontal visibility.”

    Meanwhile traffic continues to remain terribly slow on most roads in and around Dubai and Sharjah. More info

    Click here to see picture gallery of sandstorm across the Gulf