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Sandstorm hits northwest China

Massive sandstorm bearing down on Israel

Sandstorm Alert

After the pleasant spring weather that visited most of Israel on Sunday, the country is taking a sharp jump back into winter, with a heavy sandstorm due to hit on Monday.
Meteorologists have recommended that citizens close their windows from Monday morning on, as huge amounts of dust and sand are to beat down upon the country.
As Monday progresses, a heavy haze is predicted to descend upon much of the country severely limiting visibility, and in the north and coastal region it will be accompanied by pounding rains.
The haziness and dust is to only grow stronger over the course of the day, and the winds blowing in the sand will likewise strengthen, reaching at least 90 kilometers per hour (56 miles per hour).
Then on Monday night, the rains are to become even heavier in the north, and on Tuesday afternoon the weather will continue to one-up itself, launching a full rainstorm.
Aside from the rain that is to fall during the sandstorm, Mount Hermon in the north – Israel’s only ski site – is to receive heavy snow, with a full snowstorm bearing down on the mountain starting Monday night and lasting until Wednesday.
Temperatures on Monday are expected to reach highs of 16° C (61° F) in Kiryat Shmona in the north, 13° C (55° F) in Katzrin, 10° C (50° F) in Tzfat (Safed), 18° C (64° F) in Tiberias, 17° C (63° F) in Haifa, 17° C in Tel Aviv, 11° C (52° F) in Jerusalem, 22° C (72° F) in Ein Gedi, 16° C (61° F) in Be’er Sheva and 20° C (68° F) in Eilat.
The storm is to continue on Tuesday with rain and cold temperatures, snow on Mount Hermon, rain in the north and coastal regions, and continued haze in the south.
Wednesday morning will see the rain continue, although the winds will start to scale back in strength. Then on Thursday the worst of the storm will have already passed, as Israel sees partially cloudy to clear skies, and temperatures will rise.
Courtesy of israelnationalnews

Massive sandstorm disrupts Michelle Obama’s trip to Jordan

Visibility is reduced during a sandstorm in Amman, Jordan, Wednesday,  Nov. 4, 2015. A thick sandstorm cloaked parts of the Middle East on Wednesday, clouding skies and disrupting travel for the U.S. first lady, while flooding in Egypt killed several people. Photo: Raad Adayleh, AP / AP
Photo: Hassan Ammar, AP
A thick sandstorm cloaked parts of the Middle East on Wednesday, clouding skies and disrupting travel for the U.S. first lady, while flooding in Egypt killed 10 people.
Meanwhile, tropical storm Chapala continued to lash the arid and impoverished Yemen, submerging some streets in one eastern province and leaving only the roofs of cars visible.
Michelle Obama was set to fly to Jordan when an official traveling with her said the flight was delayed “due to a weather call.” The official, speaking on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement, gave no further details.
Mideast sandstorm disrupts Michelle Obama’s trip to Jordan
Sam Mcneil and Nour Youssef, Associated Press Updated 11:00 am, Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Obama was on a two-nation visit to the Middle East to promote a girls’ education initiative and was set to fly in from Qatar.
The storm engulfed the Jordanian capital of Amman where dust masks were going for just over $1 and the sun was a pale disk.
Shopkeeper Muhammed al-Ajouli wore a mask while beating sand off of one of his dresses for sale. “This has affected our work, nobody is going out in the street,” he said.
In Israel, travel was disrupted for thousands of people when domestic flights to the resort town of Eilat were cancelled because of the weather, according to Ofer Lefler, a spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority. The Airports Authority web site showed incoming and outgoing flights to Eilat’s airport cancelled until the evening.
The haze shrouded parts of Israel, and the Israeli flag could be seen poking through above the Knesset in Jerusalem. Images in Israeli media showed a few beachgoers seen through the fog on Israel’s Mediterranean coast.
Last week, high winds and a downpour led to power outages for thousands and flooding in central Israeli cities.
Rain came down hard Wednesday in parts of Egypt. The Health Ministry said 10 people drowned and 16 were injured after rainwater poured into their homes in a village in the Nile Delta province of Beheira.
Beheira Police Maj. Gen. Ashraf Abdel-Qader said the downpour flooded major roads in the area, isolating the stricken village, and that several buildings were evacuated.
In the coastal city of Alexandria, heavy rainfall forced the closure of the ports and prevented many students from reaching their schools. Young men had to roll up their pants before crossing the streets as vacuum trucks tried to remove the water.
In Yemen, three aid flights from the Gulf nation of Oman landed in the badly-hit remote Yemeni island of Socotra, where Emirates Red Crescent workers have been handing out meals, blankets and tents to affected residents since Monday.
The U.N. says at least 40,000 people were displaced or temporarily evacuated from coastal areas of Yemen and that some 450 homes were damaged or destroyed.
Courtesy of

Sandstorm Is Worst for Israel Since Independence

Israel’s ongoing sandstorm is the worst since before the founding of the state in 1948, according to the Israeli Environmental Protection Ministry.
The sandstorm blanketing the region, which began Tuesday and is expected to continue through the weekend, has released the highest concentration of dust particles in more than 65 years, the Times of Israel reported Friday.
The sandstorm has affected large swaths of Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Cyprus, and in Israel has led to record electricity consumption and air pollution highs. The previous electricity consumption record was set in August during a heatwave.
Scientists are uncertain what caused the storm, with some saying it is related to agricultural disruptions caused by the Syrian civil war and others suggesting it stems from global warming, i24news reported.
On Tuesday, air pollution in Jerusalem was 173 times higher than average; in the Negev, 51 times higher than average; and in the Galilee, 32 times higher than average, according to the Times of Israel.
The Environmental Ministry has warned Israelis not to stay outside for extended periods. The storm has caused several respiratory-related deaths and hospitalized more than 2,500 in Lebanon, according to the Washington Post.
Courtesy of

Sandstorm hits vehicular traffic in Riyadh

SANDY DAY: Poor visibility due to the sandstorm caused traffic congestion in Riyadh on Saturday
A thick layer of sand covered the city’s skyline on Saturday with a heavy blanket of dust caused by strong winds hampering visibility and creating traffic snarls on busy roads.
The traffic department advised motorists to drive slowly and exercise caution like use of headlights as darkness enveloped the main arteries like King Fahd Road, Khurais Road and Riyadh-Makkah and Riyadh-Madinah highways.
The bad weather, however, had no major impact on the air traffic in the capital as flights were on schedule, officials at the King Khalid International Airport said.
“The air traffic was normal and there were no cancelations or delays due to bad weather,” an official told Arab News.
The Civil Defense department also had an incident free day at the time of filing this report.
The Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) had issued an alert about the dusty weather and sandstorm approaching Riyadh with a one-meter horizontal visibility. It has forecast that parts of Riyadh will be partly cloudy with chances of light drizzles or showers.
The maximum temperature was recorded at 44 degrees Celsius on Saturday while the relative humidity was 15 percent.
Sandstorms are frequent during the summer in central Saudi Arabia. A freak eight-hour sandstorm hit Riyadh in early April this year causing chaos on the city’s streets and the cancellation of all flights at King Khaled International Airport.
The high-velocity winds and poor visibility saw hundreds of passengers stranded at the airport. All incoming flights were diverted to neighboring countries including Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.
Courtesy of