PROGRES.ID – On Tuesday (August 22, 2023), the city of Mecca, also known as Makkah, Saudi Arabia, was struck by an extraordinary thunderstorm. This storm coincided with heavy rain that hit several cities in the region, which had recently been suffering from extreme heat. But what is actually happening?
Weather experts from Saudi Arabia have analyzed and explained this phenomenon. The thunderstorm that hit Mecca on Tuesday was caused by a combination of unique weather factors. One of these factors is the impact of a strong east wind that swept through the region, triggering a severe thunderstorm and causing damage across the country.
This event was also triggered by unstable weather conditions affecting many areas in Saudi Arabia, especially Mecca, over the past few hours. Heavy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds are components of this unstable weather.
Abdullah Al Osaimi, a weather specialist, explained that this weather pattern indicates the beginning of the autumn season, which usually starts in October.
The Saudi National Meteorology Center has issued a weather warning for the next 24 hours, providing further insights into weather conditions in the country. Thunderstorms accompanied by strong winds are expected to occur in several areas such as Madinah, Mecca, Asir, Jazan, and Al Baha.
Meanwhile, the Najran and Tabuk regions are expected to experience surface winds that could result in dust storms.
In certain Saudi Arabian areas like Hafr Al Batin, Al Saman, and Rafha, temperatures peaked at 47 degrees Celsius, while Al Suda experienced a low temperature of 14 degrees Celsius with humidity levels reaching 95 percent.
Several videos circulating on social media showcase the strength of the winds, capable of lifting heavy plastic barriers. The same winds also posed a threat to Umrah pilgrims at the Masjid al-Haram.
Other videos show power poles collapsing due to strong winds and heavy rain on Asfan Road in northeastern Jeddah, quickly spreading across various social media platforms.
Furthermore, reports also reveal that Jeddah was enveloped in a dust storm, with dense dust clouds dominating the sky.
Despite the heavy rain and strong winds at the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Umrah pilgrims continued their worship, creating a spiritual sight as they prayed amid the pouring rain.
Quoting Gulf News, in a weather advisory issued on Tuesday morning, the Saudi National Meteorology Center predicted that thunderstorms accompanied by strong winds would occur in areas such as Madinah, Mecca, Asir, Jazan, and Al Baha.
Previously, the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) had predicted thunderstorms and strong winds in regions like Tabuk, Madinah, Riyadh, the Eastern Province, and Qassim.
Based on the latest NCM report, certain areas in Tabuk, Madinah, Riyadh, the Eastern Province, and Qassim were expected to experience thunderstorms on Tuesday (August 22), accompanied by strong winds.
Meanwhile, specific regions like Najran, Asir, Baha, and Makkah were projected to experience a combination of moderate to heavy rain showers.
In the Red Sea region, a shift in wind direction from southwest to northwest was expected, accompanied by thunderstorms and wind speeds ranging from 12 to 35 kilometers per hour.
Meanwhile, in the Arabian Gulf, winds were anticipated to blow from southeast to southwest, with speeds ranging from 15 to 32 kilometers per hour.