The hot and sticky weather that hung over Qatar this weekend is expected to continue for at least another three days, according to an Al Jazeera senior meteorologist.
Although the maximum temperature forecast for the next two days is 41C (106F) – which is relatively tame for Qatar in July – humidity of up to 85 percent has created a sort of sultry, heavy air that fogs up sunglasses the minute someone steps outside.
High humidity is tougher to deal with because the damp air makes it more difficult for the human body to evaporate sweat, which is what usually cools us down.
The Qatar Meteorology Department (MET) forecasts similar temperature and humidity conditions for at least today and tomorrow:
Sun 6:Hazy to misty at first becomes hot during day and humid . Wind:NE-NW 4-14/18KT. Sea:1-3/4FT. Doha temp:31/41°C.
— أرصاد قطر (@qatarmd) July 5, 2014
Speaking to Doha News, Al Jazeera’s Steff Gaulter said that the sticky weather is set to stay until at least Wednesday.
She explained that easterly winds are picking up moisture from the sea as they cross the Gulf, which increases the humidity in the air.
The winds will turn easterly in #Doha tomorrow…and stay that way for a few days. Sat and beginning of next week will be very humid 🙁
— Steff Gaulter (@WeatherSteff) July 3, 2014
As often done when the weather gets worse in Qatar, residents haven take to Twitter to voice their frustrations:
Who needs a blow dryer when you can step outside Doha’s fabulous weather for 5 minutes?
— Sheila Tribiani (@SheilaTribiani) July 3, 2014
As much as I’m loving in it Qatar I can’t wait to get home to get a breath of fresh air. So so humid over here I can’t cope
— Kat (@Kathyyyyyyx) July 5, 2014
@Hassan_IbnAli there is no such thing as wind over here in Qatar fam. All humid wallahi I can’t breath no more
— Osama Jamal Rajeh (@OJRajeh) July 4, 2014
However, this time last year, the weather was worse – humidity was at 79 percent, and temps reached 47C (117F).
Beat the heat
Qatar’s health and safety initiative Kulluna, which means “all of us” in Arabic, runs a Beat The Heat campaign each summer to help advise people on how to safely cope with the weather.
The campaign, which targets those working outdoors, encourages people to spot signs of dehydration and explains how to take action to combat this potentially fatal condition.
For example, it warns that if you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.
The campaign also focuses on children and warns that they must never be left alone in the car, even for just a minute, at this time of the year, as temperatures inside a car can rapidly increase in the span of minutes.
In a statement issued last week, Dr. Khalid Al Ansari, Director of Hamad Medical Corp.’s Pediatric Emergency Services, said:
“If you park your car in the sun for around 10 minutes, the temperature inside can rise by up to 10 degrees. It gets higher as time passes by. If a child is left behind in such vehicle, he/she can easily develop heat exhaustion and that can result in heat stroke, which can be life-threatening.”
He added that even leaving children in a car with the air conditioning on can be risky. In closed spaces, carbon monoxide fumes come into the car through the air conditioner vents and can suffocate those inside a vehicle.