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Sunday, March 7, 2021

After a dry spell, heavy rains forecast for Qatar this weekend

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Winter rain, 2015
Winter rain, 2015

Six weeks into Qatar’s “rainy” season, precipitation is finally in the forecast.

Possible light showers are expected on Tuesday and Wednesday. These could develop into heavy thunderstorms from Thursday to Saturday, the Qatar Meteorology Department (MET) has said.

In a statement, it warned residents to “be cautious” of high winds and waves during this time.

Steff Gaulter, senior meteorologist at Al Jazeera English, echoed the weather forecast, saying on Twitter yesterday:

Long wait

According to the MET, Qatar’s Wasmi season began on Oct. 16. It is usually associated with an uptick in rain and falling temps, and lasts around two months.

But though it has gotten cooler since October, rain has not really been forthcoming.

Nearly two weeks ago, Qatar’s Emir, Father Emir and several other officials and students performed a prayer for rain.

Emir prays for rain
Emir prays for rain

The move followed in the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, who used to ask God for rain when it was lacking.

Speaking to Doha News, Gaulter said that there was “only one other year in the last 10 (that) we had to wait this long” for rain during the winter time.

It remains unclear why.

Preparedness

But at the very least, the delay has given officials time to prepare for any rain-related disasters, and Ashghal has shared a detailed plan for this.

November 2015 flooding
November 2015 flooding

Preparations are in the spotlight because last November, heavy downpours wrought havoc across Qatar.

They caused several school and mall closures, as well as flooding at the airport and in some government buildings.

At the time, Qatar’s prime minister ordered an investigation into why the country was unprepared for chaos. But the results of the inquiry have yet to be publicly released.

Who’s ready for rain? Thoughts?

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