Hottest summer, heavy rains expected this year in Saudi Arabia

Heavy rainfalls are also expected in the Makkah region in the coming days

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Saudi Arabia will have the hottest summer season in recent years this year, said Dr. Ayman Ghulam, vice president of the Presidency for Meteorology and Environment (PME).

He said the Kingdom’s interior, deserts, south-central and southeastern regions are likely to be hit by sandstorms with temperature rising to 50 degrees Celsius in eastern and northeastern regions.

“In the western region, the temperature will not exceed 40 degrees Celsius,” Ghulam told Al-Madinah Arabic daily.

Speaking about expected climate changes in the Kingdom, he said: “We’ll receive heavier rains this year compared to previous years. There are chances for heavy rains in central, eastern and northern regions and southwestern mountainous areas in the coming days.”

Heavy rainfalls are also expected in the Makkah region in the coming days, Ghulam said.

“The amount of rainfall in Jeddah in November 2009 was higher than the recent rains in the city. At the same time, the rains in Qassim and other central regions this year were higher than past years.”

Ghulam predicted increased snowfall in the northern regions this year compared to previous years.

“There are 30 full-fledged weather observatories across the Kingdom operating with the support of manpower in addition to 170 automatic stations,” the vice president said.

PME’s services cover a large number of Arab and Gulf countries, Ghulam said, adding that it has a center to preserve historical information.

“We have been keeping weather reports from 1950. We are now working on converting the information into electronic records,” he said, adding that the PME supplies information required by researchers.

The PME predicted that parts of Makkah, Madinah, Tabuk, Northern Border and Al-Jouf regions would be hit by strong southern winds accompanied by sandstorms and thunderous heavy rains. The same weather will be extended to Hail, Qassim, Riyadh and Eastern Province.

“We expect heavy rains in Tabuk, Northern Border and Al-Jouf regions on Saturday and Sunday,” Ghulam said while urging the public to be cautious about weather changes.

“People should follow weather reports and PME warnings,” he added.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.

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