Cold wave grips northern Saudi Arabia, meteorologists fear strongest cold snap ever

From The Watchers

Posted by Julie Celestial on January 30, 2020 at 08:28 UTC (1 day ago)
Categories: Extreme cold, Featured articles, Severe weather

Cold wave grips northern Saudi Arabia, meteorologists fear strongest cold snap ever

Parts of Saudi Arabia are shivering through a strong cold snap with chilly winds particularly in the northern regions.

The cold wave started a few days ago and is forecast to go on for two weeks further, weather expert Muad Al-Ahmadi told Al Arabiya.

“The first wave started last Tuesday [January 21], and its climax was on Wednesday and Thursday, and that ended on Friday, while the second wave, which is the strongest and hardest, began Saturday, and would continue till midweek,” he said, urging people to take precaution and safety measures.

Furthermore, Al-Ahmadi noted that this will be the strongest cold snap ever.

Full story here.


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February 1, 2020 10:07 am

Cold… warm… change… undeniable. Perhaps a recurring phase shift.

Reply to  n.n
February 1, 2020 10:46 am

Checking with, I see nothing dramatic.

Reply to  Curious George
February 1, 2020 9:55 pm

Current Temps in NW Saudi Arabia are mid to upper 30’s F.

Reply to  George
February 2, 2020 1:21 am

Mmm, so inserting “fear” into the headline is probably a little alarmist.

Bloke down the pub
Reply to  Loydo
February 2, 2020 3:57 am

Absolute temperatures aren’t necessarily what leads to excess deaths, instead it is variation from the norm. For example, excess deaths in the UK during an harsher than usual winter, will be far higher than those in Sweden, even when the Swedes are experiencing lower temperatures. While overnight temps in Saudi Arabia can regularly be low, an extended period of cold will put at risk anyone not properly prepared.

John McClure
Reply to  n.n
February 1, 2020 12:01 pm

Perhaps one should see if it’s occurred before, if this is unusual, if a dipole in the Indian Ocean frequently causes, ….

Perhaps use a bit of logic before commenting?

PS when can we register for better communication? WUWT?

Reply to  John McClure
February 2, 2020 9:17 am

There were many of us Europeans in Saudi in early 1991 (you might recall why).
It was very cold (well sub zero) that winter. I remember seeing frost on peoples’ clothing at dawn.
(We were sleeping out that winter – inland and well away from the cities).

It happens, not every year, but it happens.

Reply to  n.n
February 1, 2020 12:29 pm

There are regular bouts of cold and snow in the Saudi peninsula.

This is NOT unusual, except for its length.

Reply to  Sara
February 1, 2020 2:12 pm

Judging from the videos, I would say the unusual part is the snow.

Reply to  Sara
February 1, 2020 7:46 pm

No, Bob, the Saudis have many, many photos of snow in their desert peninsula. It’s the length of time that is unusual, not the snow itself.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Sara
February 14, 2020 2:22 am

Does it snow in the Middle East?

Snow has swept across much of the Middle East, a rare event in this part of the world.

… While parts of the region often see snow in winter,

others are dusted perhaps once in a generation; Jerusalem last saw this much snow about 50 years ago and the Egyptian capital of Cairo hadn’t seen snow in decades. Dec 12, 2013

Reply to  n.n
February 1, 2020 1:39 pm

So, we agree, this is not a statistically significant event, not in time, not in space, not in quality. Not even in the limited 30 year period that is defined as “climate”.

Reply to  n.n
February 1, 2020 1:41 pm

Undeniable. Unfalsifiable. Modern Science.

Reply to  n.n
February 2, 2020 6:49 am

My first thought is – WOW! So Hell really HAS frozen over!

February 1, 2020 10:10 am

1: Climate change

2: natural weather

3: sun cycle

4: It happens sometimes

5: This is new, never seen it before?

Garland Lowe
Reply to  Sunny
February 1, 2020 11:47 pm

Global warming is the correct answer. It’s the correct answer to any question.

Ron Long
February 1, 2020 10:19 am

The models predicted this! No really, I was eating lunch at Hooters and the models told me “it will be a cold day in hell…” so there you go.

Reply to  Ron Long
February 1, 2020 10:52 am

Well there you go, you have a chance.

Reply to  Ron Long
February 1, 2020 12:30 pm

‘the models told me…. GROAN!!!!! You deserve whatever happens for just making that bad a pun!

Reply to  Sara
February 1, 2020 12:59 pm

Talking with a bunch of boobs can do that to a man.

Philip Verslues
Reply to  goldminor
February 1, 2020 3:24 pm

Now that’s funny.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Sara
February 2, 2020 4:09 am

‘the models (Hooter’s waitresses) told me….

Sara, that wasn’t a pun, 😊

Reply to  Ron Long
February 2, 2020 2:47 pm


February 1, 2020 10:23 am

Worse than we thought

Steve Case
February 1, 2020 10:32 am

And here in the United States, the Midwest has just completed a very warm January. So what?

Reply to  Steve Case
February 1, 2020 4:40 pm

A polar vortex just slipped down the other side of the globe.

Gerry, England
February 1, 2020 10:34 am

So over TWO WEEKS is somehow just a cold snap? Strange how just a few hot days qualifies as a heatwave but then when did they ever tell the truth?

Reply to  Gerry, England
February 1, 2020 3:01 pm

Yes, we all remember those two warm days last February which the BBC declared was a harbinger of doom.

February 1, 2020 10:39 am

Oh (cold) snap.

February 1, 2020 10:40 am

Camel urine tastes better chilled than at 40C!

February 1, 2020 12:25 pm

I would rather not know how you came by that bit of information on the taste of camel urine. Apparently there are commercial products in Saudi Arabia that contain it, but I would decline to sample them. The yuck factor is way too high.

Reply to  Richmond
February 1, 2020 12:47 pm

Yes. Civet poop coffee is way better. link Sadly, I can’t afford it. (I wonder if there’s an emoji for alligator tears.)

Reply to  commieBob
February 1, 2020 3:48 pm

No, it’s not worth it.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
February 1, 2020 7:53 pm

Not worth the cost, or is it the taste? It seems strange that we turn down civet cat poop coffee because of how it was processed in side the civet, and yet we love to eat eggs.

Geo Rubik
Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2020 8:11 am

12oz bag at $249us. I’ll pass. I pay $14 for a 12oz bag of coffee processed by Carmelite Monks. I’m pretty sure they don’t eat it to process it though. It is the best coffee I’ve ever had.

February 1, 2020 10:47 am

January-February are also known for the choking duststorms there. Got that first hand 18 years ago. I’ll take snow over a duststorm.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 1, 2020 7:38 pm

My favorite Saudi weather – thunderstorm and sandstorm simultaneously. Nothing like clumps of mud furiously falling from the sky to make your day special in a combat zone.

February 1, 2020 10:50 am

Not snow.
That’s manna.

Because of global warming, of course. We just didn’t recognize it.

February 1, 2020 10:56 am

I guess all the Saudis will be getting their snow tires out of the storage tents then?
(Usually hard to find under all the skis, sleds, snowmobiles, etc etc)
Global warming will do that.

Reply to  Mr.
February 2, 2020 8:58 am

Spiked camel-shoes.

Tim Gorman
February 1, 2020 11:04 am

How many poor people (assuming SA has poor) are going to die from the cold?

I can’t wait for the CAGW alarmists to tell us here how the average global temperature going UP means more cold around the world!

Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 2, 2020 11:35 am

A few rich may come to an end by accident on snow covered highways.

Walter Sobchak
February 1, 2020 11:06 am

H311 freezes over.

February 1, 2020 11:45 am

Al Gore must be visiting!

John Bell
February 1, 2020 11:56 am

Saudis won’t KNOW what snow is…

A C Osborn
February 1, 2020 11:57 am

How about Siberia, Mongolia & Kazakhstan much more snow than normal.
Bangladesh 4110 people suffering with cold illnesses.
Record cold in Russia at -56C.
Newfoundland ask for military help due to snow.
Record Jan 18th snow in Ottowa & Detroit.
Record snow in Pakistan.

Of course this is just Northern Hemisphere January weather and all those records don’t mean anything.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  A C Osborn
February 1, 2020 12:48 pm

“Of course this is just Northern Hemisphere January weather and all those records don’t mean anything.”

No they don’t, as it’s mid winter and there will a,ways be some cold f3cords soemwhere in the NH in winter. It is dominated by snow coverered land at high latitudes.
But meanwhile ….

The “fake news” …..

“Northeastern Russia (Yakutia region, Siberia) is a well-known place for extreme cold, with the Verkhoyansk Range being the coldest area in the Northern Hemisphere. Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk are the towns where record cold low temperatures are at 67.8 °C and -71.2 °C. This weekend, the pattern over that part of Asia brought a strong upper-level ridge, resulting in the development of the surface high-pressure system. This usually means the extremely cold will become even more brutal – and so it did! Several stations in the Yakutia region recorded down to -57 °C!”
So, your “record cold” is 10 to 15C warmer than the real record cold then

And As for Saudi – Spot the tiny bit of blue there ? ….
comment image
How about the red elsewhere?

And snow is not an equivalent for cold.
Are you not aware how “NE’er” storms are formed?
In short moisture is required and then snow can fall at any surface temperature above around +2C (inversion aloft).
So what if the average temp in that region is lower but normally dry?

And how about …..
“The unusual extreme warmth developing over Scandinavia we have discussed last days, has lead into record-breaking temperatures in some areas. The official report of 19.0 degrees Celsius in the town Sunndalsøra is the highest temperature ever measured in Norway and Scandinavia itself, in January or any winter month! The previous Norwegian record of 17.9 °C was measured in Tafjord in 1989.”

Not to mention the US ….
“Although it’s January, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at a thermometer. Many areas across the eastern United States have been experiencing temperatures more typical of March and April.”

A C Osborn
Reply to  Anthony Banton
February 2, 2020 4:52 am

As usual jumping in with both feet.
It was a record for the day or period not for ever, you know just like the press publishes for “Hot Days”.
I suggest that take a look at some of those records, like Kazakhstan with 3 times as much snow for this time of the year.
The whole point was it is not local to Saudi Arabia.

But as you say it is only winter weather, whereas summer hot records are Climate Change, we all know how it works thanks.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  A C Osborn
February 1, 2020 12:56 pm

-56 is not even close to a record. When I was in Mongolia two years ago (in January) it was -67 in Yakutia. I wrote about it here at the time. It was -42 in Ulaanbaatar that day – and very windy. The impact was terrible in Yakutia – 6 people froze to death and 70 people were admitted to hospital for frostbite amputations. In 2013 it was -71 C.

Cold is really bad for humans.

February 1, 2020 12:09 pm

I didn’t know Al Gore was in Saudi Arabia.

Carl Friis-Hansen
February 1, 2020 12:09 pm

Scaling up and down,27.703,42.935,5
the day temperatures are moderate cold and night temperatures have difficulties coming under 0°C.
Is this really so unusual for northern Saudi Arabia?

February 1, 2020 12:10 pm

Meanwhile further North by 30 degrees of latitude, Moscow had warmest December since records started in 1886.
The Russian Supreme Leader (the new title meant for the current president at the end of his mandate, perhaps an inspiration number of presidents around the world ? ) in order to appease revolting local populace had to cover parts of Red Square with fake snow

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Vuk
February 14, 2020 4:34 am

Nothing compared to “greatest yearlong every day fake snow show evah”:

February 1, 2020 12:10 pm

I’m glad I don’t live in Saudi right now (or any other time, for that matter) – if I thought the people in Richmond (VA, USA) couldn’t drive in the snow . . . .

February 1, 2020 12:13 pm

Hey — when we have a heat wave, it’s global warming. When it’s cold, it’s climate change.

Reply to  littlepeaks
February 1, 2020 12:39 pm

…… and when you have both at the same time and at the same place it’s ‘climate breakdown’
“The world is facing catastrophic climate breakdown.”

Tom Foley
Reply to  littlepeaks
February 1, 2020 3:57 pm

Heat = energy.
Global warming = more energy.
More energy can result in both more heat and more cold in different places.
See refrigerator, reverse cycle air conditioner. Colder air inside, hotter air outside.

The earth’s atmosphere is just a bit more complex than a simple heat exchange pump, but the latter shows how putting more energy (in this case by electricity) into a system can result in more cold air as well as more hot air.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Tom Foley
February 1, 2020 11:30 pm

“Tom Foley February 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm

Global warming = more energy.”

If we assume there is a steady amount of “energy” entering the earth system (Which it is), and we assume “global warming”, as you say, = “more energy”, where is the extra energy coming from?

February 1, 2020 1:49 pm

Finally, Hell has frozen over!

February 1, 2020 2:09 pm

I lived in Saudi Arabia for 15 years. Cold weather and snow is not unusual in the north west region. The quantity seems to be more than usual. It also snows in the south west mountains in and around the city of Abha. Also experienced snow and ice in southern Jordan while driving to Petra at this time of year.

Here’s a clip from Gulf News in 2008 regarding snow around Tabuk, KSA.

“TABUK: Areas around the city of Haql witnessed rainfall accompanied by light snow on Friday evening on Al-Lawz Mountain, while light snow, known as the “white guest,” fell in Tabuk in the evening and disappeared at dawn.
The local population gathers every year to watch this phenomenon. They arrive at the mountain early to welcome the snow and consider this time to be the most beautiful in the year.”

Cheers from the South Okanagan Valley in BC, where we had our 50 year snowfall (?) two weeks ago. I estimate that we had a foot or so over a few days. Must be from the lack of sunspots.

February 1, 2020 2:09 pm

Climate anomaly. Check back in 30 years to assess climate change.

Reply to  n.n
February 1, 2020 6:28 pm

“… Check back in 300 years to assess climate change.”


If the Persian gulf starts to get shallower, that’s climate change.

February 1, 2020 2:47 pm

We had snow, sand storms, deluges and hail all in the 6 years I was there. Nothing new!

Garland Lowe
Reply to  Ian
February 2, 2020 12:09 am

Did you not read the headline, Longest cold snap evah?

February 1, 2020 3:02 pm

In other news, Greta Thunberg rides a horse in Kazakhstan:

February 1, 2020 4:13 pm

The dudes in the TikTok video seem to be enjoying themselves, despite the snow-mageddon. 😉

Ben Vorlich
February 2, 2020 12:19 am

What is news worthy is that the BBC has missed this and cold events elsewhere, missing the opportunity to send Harrabin on another jolly.

Coach Springer
February 2, 2020 6:24 am

I have to say something inappropriate here. Maybe lifting that ban on women drivers was a bit premature.

February 2, 2020 11:01 am

Every winter since I started reading newspapers around 1970, some place or another has gotten record cold or record snow, as in record for a day or for a month or for a whole winter or for a single weather event. Usually more than one of the above. Then there is the blizzard that was the greatest on record anywhere in the world according to the Wikipedia article on “Blizzard” at least as of a few years ago, and that happened in Iran in 1972, and it currently mentions that historic blizzard. That Wikipedia article also mentions a large number of blizzards and some snow winters that were the most extreme ever recorded where they happened, in a large number of different years. Then there are the many historic great snowstorms that didn’t have the wind that is part of the definition of blizzard. These are weather not climate, along with the extreme high temperature event in part of Europe last summer and the recent drought in Australia.

February 2, 2020 12:16 pm

Soon the polar vortex will again attack in North America.
comment image

February 2, 2020 1:55 pm

Nurse Helen Oakley, 63, posted an emotional video from the bulldozed bluegum plantation in Portland, Victoria, after finding dead koalas among the tree branches. She claimed a logging company ‘bulldozed 140 acres now and have just killed all of our koalas.’

Read more:

Twitter: | Facebook:

Rudolf Huber
February 3, 2020 2:43 pm

Call Al Gore. Some of the snow that has not melted as he predicted has escaped to Saudi Arabia. The world needs better monitoring of those events. It cannot be that some intrepid snow clouds just dump their load when they are not allowed to. Has nobody told them that they are supposed to be all gone by now?

Henry chance
February 3, 2020 5:52 pm

Shiek Mannhamaddi has ordered hockey sticks . Decided to send hockey team to Olympics. They can practice outdoors.

February 4, 2020 3:13 am

Extreme cold is the worst kind of warming.

Chris Norman
February 9, 2020 3:42 pm

Look you deniers the science is settled!!!!
The hotter it gets, the colder it gets.
What is the matter with you people.

Johann Wundersamer
February 14, 2020 2:14 am

Remember –

On the Arabian peninsula statistically

there’s more people drowning in the Wadis due to torrential rainfall

than dying of dehydration in the deserts.

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