The UAE and other Gulf states will see their longest night on Saturday as December 21 marks the winter solstice in the region and across the world.
According to TimeAndDate.com, the length of the day in UAE on both December 21 and December 22 will be 10 hours, 33 minutes and 56 seconds, which means the night will last for 13 hours, 26 minutes and 4 seconds on these two days, making them the longest nights of the year.
A well-known Saudi astronomer was reported saying on Thursday that Saturday night would reach “its longest period” of 13 hours and 3 minutes in eastern Saudi Arabia, which borders all GCC states.
Mulham bin Mohammed Al Hindi, a member of the Arab union of astronomy and space sciences, told the Saudi Sabq newspaper that Saturday would also have the shortest daytime in the region before it starts to get longer gradually in the next weeks.
“The night period will be longest of the year on Saturday and in Saudi Arabia it will be the longest in the eastern region,” he said.
In the western Saudi town of Makkah, Saturday’s night will be 13 hours and 10 minutes while in the capital Riyadh it will be 13 hours and 23 minutes, he said.
“The night will be longer as we head further north…in the northern Pole, it will be a full night…the night time in our region will then start to gradually decline until it is equal to the day on March 20.”
According to the UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), the country’s official weather forecaster, temperatures across the country will see a dip today even as daytime will remain cloudy. Temperatures will drop to as low as 9 degree Celcius in internal areas, the NCMS reckons.
The forecast for today reads: “Partly cloudy in general, and hazy at times over some areas, with another fall in temperatures. Fresh winds in general, strong over the sea, and causing blowing dust/sand over the exposed areas.”
In case of blowing dust/sand, motorists will do well to exercise caution. In addition, there is a chance of rainfall, especially tonight and early tomorrow morning. “The amount of clouds will gradually increase over the northern areas and the islands, with a chance of some rainfall, especially during night and Sunday morning,” the NCMS further noted.