Winter storm kicks up sand in the Middle East

Battering waves, sandstorms, mountain snow and persistent rain characterise the latest winter storm in the Levant area.

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    A strong desert wind picked up the sand and covered Cairo, which had to close it main airport [Reuters]
    A strong desert wind picked up the sand and covered Cairo, which had to close it main airport [Reuters]

    Europe's latest winter storm kicked up the sand in Egypt on Tuesday, temporarily closing Cairo International Airport to incoming flights.

    The strengthening wind also caused large waves to crash into the coast and saw two of the country’s seaports closed for business.

    Flights to and from the airport in the Red Sea resort city of Eilat were also grounded due to the weather on Wednesday morning, Airport spokeswoman Liza Dvir said.

    The cause is the same in both cases - the latest winter storm exported from Europe.

    Early on Tuesday afternoon, Cairo airport recorded visibility of 600m which dropped to 300m by the late afternoon. The wind was by this time a near gale from the southwest.

    All this has happened on the southern flank of the storm; on its eastern edge, the advancing storm has been piling up the Mediterranean Sea again.

    In Beirut, large waves battered and broke fences and tiles along the Corniche.

    Lebanese weather forecasters said the wind reached speeds of 100 kph.

    It has started raining in Syria and Lebanon and some snow will fall in the mountains to the east, however, it will be Turkey and the southern Caucasus where it will really snow with anything up to half a metre expected over the next three days.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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