Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gulf states catch big chill

The Kingdom finds itself in an icebox. Every morning, before I catch a hot shower, I sit on my PC to check in Yahoo the weather condition in Riyadh. For almost a week now, I got “negative results” – temperature below 0C. This morning it goes down to -5C.
Saudi Arabia, a vast country with an area of 2,240,350 square kilometres covering most of the Arabian peninsula, has also been hit by a unprecedented cold spell.

Snow has fallen on some northern Saudi cities.

In Dubai, police recorded 584 accidents and two deaths within a few hours on Wednesday, with reduced visibility and speeding cited as the cause for most incidents.

Heavy rains have also lashed tiny gas-rich Qatar for nearly a week as temperatures dropped to an unusually low seven degrees Celsius, and authorities reported 1,200 drainage operations.

In Bahrain, which had its lowest recorded temperature of 2.7 degrees Celsius in 1964, the mercury dropped to between five and seven degrees Celsius over the past few days, but there were only scattered showers.

In Kuwait, where temperatures soar to above 50 degrees Celsius in July and August, the mercury dropped to sub-zero temperatures, but the state has had virtually no rain this winter.

The temperature in the open desert dropped to minus three Celsius at dawn on Wednesday for the second straight day, while passengers landing at Kuwait airport were greeted by minus one Celsius.

According to Kuwait's meteorological department, the lowest temperature ever recorded in the open desert was minus four Celsius in 1964. The cold spell was expected to continue until the weekend.
Nevertheless, we shall be spending our weekend (overnight stay starting tonight) in Dirab Golf Course located outside Riyadh Center. It has an open desert, resorts, valleys and of course golf course… and for sure, it will double the chill and…excitement!

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