The sandy deserts of Saudi Arabia had a rare sight yesterday: accumulating snowfall. Temperatures plunged to as low as 26 in the country’s central and northwest regions, allowing snow to fall . The unusual cold temperatures and blanket of snow is an unexpected treat for Saudi Arabia, which would normally see temperatures in the upper 60’s during the November “cold season.”
Professor Abdallah al-Musanad, professor of climate science at Qassim University, told Alarabiya.net, this is “the second rainfall this season,” even though 40 days have passed since the end of rain season. Mid-October is generally the rainfall season in Saudi Arabia, but they are still experiencing light to medium showers this year.
Some locals were caught off-guard by the frozen precipitation, pulling off area highways until snow melted from roads. Local officials issued a variety of travel advisories cautioning drivers who are likely unfamiliar with driving on snow-covered roads.
Some took advantage of the snow by making snowmen. However, after a freak snowfall in January 2015, a cleric condemned the practice calling it “sinful” and “anti-Islamic.” He issued a fatwa (religious ruling) forbidding anyone from making a snowman.
The snow isn’t lasting long: changing weather conditions should return temperatures into the upper 70’s and low 80’s in the northern/central part of Saudi Arabia today.