Browsing 'MET' News

Shabina S. Khatri / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Strong winds and sandstormy conditions are expected to stick around for the rest of the week in Qatar, local forecasters have said.

In some parts of the country, winds could reach up to 38 knots (70km/hour), the Qatar Meteorology Department (MET) said.

The ensuing dust and sand kicked up by the wind will cause visibility to drop to less than 2km, the MET added in a statement.

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Residents should “be cautious” and avoid sea activities through Saturday.

On the bright side, temperatures have fallen back down to “normal” levels for this time of the year, and will reach a high of around 37C over the next few days.

Dust protection

With the rain behind us, now might be a good time to brush up on how to protect yourself and loved ones from all the sand that’s blowing around.

Health officials have previously advised those going outdoors to wear masks, avoid rubbing their eyes to prevent infection and to seek treatment if they have breathing difficulties.

Other advice includes:

MET/Twitter

Sandstorm health advice

Will the weather affect your weekend plans? Thoughts?

Bijan Choudhury/Flickr

Photo of Al Khor Park for illustrative purposes only.

Above average temperatures are expected to continue in Qatar this week, with the high reaching up to the low 40s Celsius (>104F), local forecasters have warned.

Normally, the average maximum temperature in April is around 33C (91F).

According to the Qatar Meteorology Department (MET), easterly to southeasterly winds are to blame for the rising thermostat.

It added in a statement that there is a 60 to 70 percent chance that Qatar and other Gulf countries will see above-average temperatures through June.

Residents suffered through an abnormally sweltering summer last year too, too, which at the time was attributed to climate change.

“Qatar Meteorology Department recommends to drink plenty of liquids and to avoid direct sunlight during hot weather conditions to avoid sun strokes,” the MET concluded this week.

Allergy season

It’s not just heat residents need to worry about.

The beginning of summer in Qatar is also a common time for people to report worsening allergies.

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

In a statement yesterday, Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) advised residents to pay attention to symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, coughs and headaches.

It also urged patients to minimize exposure to the allergens that affect them. This could be pollen, wind/sand, rain or indoor triggers such as pet dander.

Patients who suffer from indoor allergens are advised to:

  • Wash bedding in very hot water at least once a week;
  • Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture; and
  • Remove carpets, upholstered furniture and stuffed toys.

Seeking out an effective allergy medicine is also important so that you can start treatment as soon as symptoms start, said Dr. Mehdi Adeli, head of HMC’s Allergy and Immunology Awareness Program (AIAP).

Thoughts?

Abdulla Almesleh/Flickr

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If the start of 2017 felt unusually rainy, that’s because it was.

The first quarter of this year saw the highest number of wet days in Qatar in at least 10 years, a local meteorologist told Doha News.

And according to a recent report, Qatar can expect to see more winter rain storms (as well as increase in summer sandstorms) in its future.

Arshad Inamdar/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

That said, the soggy weather is likely now behind us, as forecasters are expecting a relatively dry April.

More rain than average

But looking back, rain fell in Qatar on 29 days during the first three months of this year.

Over the past decade, the average has been about 11 days during this time period, Steff Gaulter, senior meteorologist at Al Jazeera English, told Doha News.

Mohammed Zuber Shaikh/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

She added that one theory for the sudden increase in rainfall involves the movement of a line of rain that starts in Saudi Arabia.

She said it typically sits north of Qatar, but this band has slipped southwards for unknown reasons.

Wetter winters

This year, Qatar  has been a number of storms, many of which have caused flash-flooding and resulted in waterlogged streets.

This could become the norm.

Lesley Walker / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

According to a report published last month by Emirates Wildlife Society and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF, wetter winters and dustier summers may become more common in the coming decades.

The UAE Climate Change Risks and Resilience study suggested that by 2050, climate change could raise air and sea temperatures in the Gulf, significantly affecting the population and the environment.

Along with the UAE, Qatar also faces the prospect of drier, dustier summers.

Aqueduct/WRI

Excerpt from Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas

The report cited a previous Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas by the World Resources Institute that named Qatar one of the most water-stressed countries in the world.

It stated that while the region’s summer drought could get worse in the coming years, winters could bring more flash-floods.

This is related to a forecasted 2C increase in the temperature of the surface waters of the Arabian Gulf by 2050.

That jump could also be accompanied by more unpredictable weather, the report warned.

Cloud seeding

In a bid to counteract the dry spells and increase rainfall, the UAE is one several countries globally that has been cloud seeding in recent years.

The process is a way of trying to squeeze more moisture out of existing clouds, by firing salt flares into them to encourage precipitation.

Pixabay

Cloud seeding explained

Experts monitor weather patterns and when potentially suitable clouds are spotted, planes loaded with canisters of potassium chloride and sodium chloride fly into the clouds and release the particles.

Last month, the UAE’s National Center of Meteorology and Seismology said it had launched around such 20 flights in five days, The National reported.

However, it can be difficult to quantify how much extra rain these flights create.

Oliver Tindall/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar has previously considered cloud-seeding. But it has not carried it out as it was considered “not feasible,” a local forecaster told Doha News.

Regional weather patterns mean that Qatar would most likely only benefit from a neighboring country’s cloud seeding if the operations took place in Saudi Arabia, he added.

Thoughts?