Sand and dust storms swept across the whole of Saudi Arabia over the last couple of days. The photo below, from Arab News, shows the air in Jeddah (L) and Riyadh (R). The Eastern Province didn’t escape. And just to add a bit of environmental lagniappe, temperatures below freezes are expected in the north of the country.
The dust storms have complicated life. Schools (most of them) have been closed. Visibility has been reduced greatly, so drivers are being warned to exercise caution. Air traffic, too, has been slowed. March in the Kingdom is still in it’s ‘In like a lion’ phase. The dust is so fine that it works its way through all but hermetically sealed doors and windows, adding a bit of minerals to the diet and a bit more wear on the teeth.
Severe sandstorms engulf Saudi cities
The General Presidency for Meteorology and Environment yesterday warned of possible severe sandstorms in the northern and eastern regions and Riyadh. It also warned of below-zero temperatures in the northern areas of Tabuk, Turaif and Al Qurayat in the next few days.
PME spokesman Hussein Al-Qahtani said the sandstorms are the result of high winds buffeting the Kingdom. “We are now in transition from one season to another, and the Kingdom is usually affected by different rates of temperature in addition to high wind speeds,” he said.
“Wind speeds reached 60 km per hour yesterday and have been affected by the climate of the northern, eastern and central regions of the Kingdom, but God willing the storm will finish on Tuesday evening,” he said.