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Mar 30, 2015

03:18:44 GMT--Extreme Weather - Middle-East - Saudi Arabia

EDIS Number: ST-20150330-47545-SAU

Date / time: 30/03/2015 03:17:21 [UTC]

Event: Extreme Weather

Area: Middle-East

Country: Saudi Arabia

State/County: Province of Makkah

Location: Jeddah

Number of Deads: N/A

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: N/A


Dust and heavy gusts of wind swept Jeddah and surrounding areas on Sunday, leaving the city with poor visibility for most of the day. The unexpected weather phenomenon caused low visibility on roads in general and on the Haramain Expressway in particular, though weather had been normal in the early morning. From 10 a.m. hovering dust intensified in various parts of the city, with the situation improving only after 3:00 p.m. This weather condition hit hard the ongoing construction activity alongside the Haramain Expressway, where the railway line work is in full swing, and affected other infrastructure projects in the city, according to engineers. The rough weather prevailed on Saturday, thwarting the weekend plans of many residents; however it returned to normal during the evening, only to strike hard once more on Sunday. Many students and their parents had a tough time returning to the regular routine, as it was first day of school after a short vacation. "It was the first day to drop and pick up my son from the school, but the dust has ruined the mood," said Mohammed Abdul Al Maqsud, an Egyptian parent. "It is a difficult job for me to clean again and again" said Abdullah Shahabuddin, a Bangladeshi cleaner. "The people are advised to exercise caution in the city due to dust storm and poor visibility" civil defense spokesperson Col. Saeed Sarhan, said on Sunday via a written statement. Osama Khan, weather forecaster from the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment Protection (PME), told Arab News that this marks the beginning of the summer season which is due to commence in a week's time in all the parts and regions of the Kingdom. Khan also explained that the weather will be much better on Monday, though there will be some dust but with less wind. However, regarding expectations of an increase in temperatures, he said that "Today's bad weather is a continuation of yesterday's dust storm, with the winds from south to south east bringing dust to all parts of Jeddah after coming from the desert at a speed of 25 kilometers per hour. Visibility is up to 2 kilometres, and humidity is the same as it was on Saturday at 35% to 75%. This may increase with an increase in temperature in Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah." He further said that in the coming days the temperature will increase in all the parts of the Kingdom during the day time, but added that the nights will be fine.

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