Friday, March 2, 2012

Dhahran Schamal

We had a bad schamal blow through over the weekend.  Making visibility very poor and limiting outdoor activity.  It is hard to show you how bad it was.  I took some video of driving on camp.  It is out towards the jebel area and you should be able to see the fence line, but can not.

Sandstorm hits Dammam, Alkhobar

Hundreds of schoolchildren had gathered on the Alkhobar Corniche to take part in the annual charity run on Thursday. The event had to be canceled because of bad weather. (AN photo by Boutros Ayad) Shiraz Hasan
Major towns and cities in the Eastern Province were in the grip of a severe sandstorm on Thursday. As it was weekend and schools were closed, it did not lead to any major disruption on the highways and roads that connect Dammam with Alkhobar and Dhahran.
However, one of the most important and attractive annual events — the Alkhobar charity run — had to be postponed because of bad weather. In the past the event had drawn thousands of Saudis and expatriates of all ages.
Mohammad Al-Qahtani, director of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment in the Eastern Province, said the weather will only get worse.
“There is a lot of wind and it is kicking up a lot of sand,” he told Arab News. “Our forecast says Friday and Saturday will be equally bad … It might get worse.”
Vehicles were coated in layers of coarse dust. Visibility was poor even in mid-afternoon, and all vehicles had headlights on, and it looked more like evening than afternoon.
The weather had no major impact on the air traffic, though. “We have had no cancellations or delay on Thursday,” said a spokesman at the King Fahd International Airport in Dammam.

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