Snow is not only gripping Europe and Japan, it’s also gripping parts of the Middle East as well.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have just seen another helping of heavy snow.

In Afghanistan the snow is bringing some welcome benefits, as a drought has been gripping the nation for the past 12 years.

The worst affected provinces are in the north. In some regions, last year’s harvest was almost completely wiped out, with many farmers reporting the failure of crops and the death of livestock.

However, although the snow brought some much-needed moisture to the country, it brought disruption to many parts, including in the capital, Kabul.

The heavy snow brought traffic to a standstill, as many roads became impassable, including the Salang Pass, a major pass through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects Kabul to the north of the country.

The severe weather also forced the closure of the airport. Planes were brought to a standstill for more than 24 hours, as authorities struggled to clear over half a metre of snow that lay on the runway.

After delivering severe weather to Afghanistan, the weather system then moved east into Pakistan. In some of the mountainous regions of the country, between 1 and 1.5 metres of snow were reported.

The snow caused power cuts and many businesses were forced to close, as people struggled to deal with the cold weather.

The snow has now cleared away, and the temperatures across much of Pakistan are expected to readily recover, meaning much of the snow will melt quickly. However in Kabul, the recovery is likely to be slower, with temperatures staying below freezing for the next few days.

Source: Al Jazeera