The recent thunderstorms in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar formed along a front of cold air that swept across Iran during the previous week.

This blast of cold, which has also affected the Caucasus, hit northern Iran several days ago and changed the feeling from summer to winter overnight.

Tehran spent most of November in the 20s Celsius. Just 10 days ago, on Nov 18, it was still a warm 21C. Two days later the maximum temperature was 6C.

Thunderstorms crackled and snow fell on the hills; snow even fell in the city. On Thursday, Nov 24, Tehran recorded a maximum temperature of -1C.

The province of Mazandaran was hit particularly hard by the change in weather. It borders the southern Caspian Sea and is mountainous. As such, it catches the snow falling from the thunderstorms generated by the southern Caspian, when the cold sweeps over it.

Iranian media reported that the snow and cold weather, with temperatures down to -10C, caused power and gas outages in some cities across the Mazandaran province.

The sudden change of season is good news for ski resorts in the Alborz mountains. Just to the north of Tehran is Mount Tochal, reachable by cable car, in what is probably the longest lift in the world. There is not enough snow yet to ski, but it has started.

Source: Al Jazeera