Saudi Arabia shivers in worst cold spell since 2016

Updated February 14, 2020

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Saudi Arabia is experiencing its coldest weather since 2016, meteorologists said on Thursday, with overnight temperatures dropping below zero in the country’s north over the past two days. — Bloomberg/File
Saudi Arabia is experiencing its coldest weather since 2016, meteorologists said on Thursday, with overnight temperatures dropping below zero in the country’s north over the past two days. — Bloomberg/File

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is experiencing its coldest weather since 2016, meteorologists said on Thursday, with overnight temperatures dropping below zero in the country’s north over the past two days.

In Tarif, on the border with Jordan, the temperature hit minus 5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the weather services. It dropped to minus three in Hail further southeast, and minus 2 in Arar on the border with Iraq.

In the capital Riyadh, the temperature dipped close to zero and the streets were deserted Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

The desert kingdom is known for its extreme heat, particularly during summer.

“The country is experiencing its most intense cold snap since 2016,” Hassan Abdallah from the Wasm meteorological centre, said on Thursday.

In neighbouring Iraq, where summers are also scorching, Baghdad residents woke up on Tuesday to find the city carpeted in white from only its second snowfall in a century. The last recorded snowfall Baghdad was in 2008.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020