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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Record rain in Doha

A car makes wave as it ploughs through a puddleNavigating flooded roads on Saturday, I had to drive carefully around broken down saloon cars with flooded engines. On a trip round the industrial area this morning things were even worse - large floods hid the potholes which plague this huge complex, and there were more broken down cars littering the roads.

It's not normal. According to this Gulf Times article, it was last this rainy in 1964, when the highest rainfall ever was recorded with 155 mm, but it looks like this will be surpassed this year. Certainly, this December is already well above average, having recorded 30 mm in the first half of the month compared to an average annual rainfall of 13 mm - and that is for a whole month.

It's cold, too, at least for those of accustomed to Middle East sunshine. "I've never known it this cold. Wet, yes, but not this cold," said one Qatari I know. It's not going to get warmer soon, either, the forecast is for 10 degrees celcius. Still, in Saudi, a colleague informs me, it is 6 degrees - and they haven't even got alcohol to warm themselves with!

Also see:
Rain cripples city and suburbs. (The Peninsula)
Qatar weather

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