After surviving this week’s sudden sandstorm, widely believed to be the worst Qatar has seen in years, residents should be able to expect some relief this weekend, forecasters have said.
According to Steff Gaulter, senior meteorologist for Al Jazeera English, it will be breezy today, with a maximum temperature of 29C (84F).
Conditions should be less windy tomorrow, but a change in the wind direction is expected to cause dustier conditions and hotter temps – up to 33C (91F) – on Saturday, she added.
Wednesday’s late-night sandstorm and subsequent aftermath took many Qatar residents by surprise, sickening hundreds, leaving a dusty mess inside of homes and malls, and causing chaos on the roads and at the airport.
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In the aftermath, many questioned the lack of warning residents received about the sandstorm.
Speaking to Doha News, Gaulter said there had always been a chance of a dust storm as the winds picked up and turned northwesterly, but that the ensuing conditions were “far more intense” than was forecast.
“One of the things that made it so severe was that we haven’t really had any dust storms recently, so there were plenty of loose particles simply waiting for a strong wind.”
Though Doha may see another dust storm in the next month or so, “it is very unlikely to be as intense,” she concluded.
Speaking to the Gulf Times, a senior official at the Qatar Meteorology Department (MET) echoed that sentiment, calling Wednesday’s sandstorm a “rare and unusual occurrence.”
Abdulla Al-Mannai, head of the forecasting department, added, “Though winds could continue to be strong at intervals in the next few days the chances of a repeat of such a severe sandstorm are rather remote and highly unlikely.”
Who plans to venture outdoors today? Thoughts?