[QODLink]
Weather

Severe weather strikes the Middle East

Sandstorms and flooding have stretched from Iraq to Yemen.

Last Modified: 08 May 2013 11:14
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Severe weather has affected many parts of the Middle East over the last two weeks [YouTube/amriazoz]

What is usually a quiet time of year weatherwise for the Middle East has been surprisingly stormy for many parts of the region.

Initially the most severe weather struck Saudi Arabia and Oman. The resulting flooding led to the deaths of at least twenty people across the regions.

The heaviest of the rain then tracked northwards, producing thunderstorms in Kuwait, Iran and Iraq.

For several days torrential rain fell on the border of Iraq and Iran. To the southeast of Baghdad, this rain has now caused widespread flooding.

Homes have been inundated by the water and 3,200 people have been forced to evacuate.

The Iraqi Red Crescent has put up hundreds of tents for those worst affected, and provided them with much-needed food and blankets.

While flooding submerged parts of Iraq and Iran, the Arabian Peninsula has continued to see showers and thunderstorms as well.

Generally the showers bubbled up over the mountains in western Saudi and tracked eastwards.

The thunderstorms that developed on 7 May 2013 kicked up a large amount of dust. A giant dust storm, known as a haboob developed, plunged the city of Riyadh into darkness.

The haboob steadily tracked eastwards across Bahrain and Qatar late in the evening.

This weather is fairly unusual for the region at this time of year, which has led some people to believe conspiracy theories about cloud seeding. However, the idea that the UAE can manipulate their clouds to produce thunderstorms that originate in western Saudi Arabia is somewhat far-fetched.

The showers across the Arabian Peninsula have now mostly cleared away, and the rain over Iraq is slowly breaking up. Over the next few days the weather will return to the dry settled weather that is more typical at this time of year.

In many parts of the world the return to sunshine would be a cause for celebration, but in the Middle East, where temperatures can top 50C in summer, the unsettled weather will be missed by many residents.

340

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.