Doha deluge

Qatar's capital has been hit by a year's worth of rain in a matter of just nine hours.

Richard Angwin | | Weather, Middle East, Qatar

It may not rain very often in Qatar but when it does, it often makes headlines.

The country, which has a sub-tropical desert climate, usually records an annual rainfall of just over 50mm.

During the early hours of Wednesday, the predicted torrential rain arrived. By 8am GMT, an impressive 66mm of rain had been recorded at the city’s Hamad International Airport.

The streets did not take long to flood, causing chaos with gridlock in many places. As with many other desert countries, Saudi Arabia in particular, drainage systems are unable to cope with the rapid run-off which occurs from urban development and the sun-baked desert soils.

The leaden grey skies were a marked contrast to the 300-plus days of blue skies that the country usually enjoys.

Al Jazeera's forecasters expect the rain to ease before finally clearing by the end of Thursday morning.

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