Monthly Archives: July 2009

In the News – July 15, 2009

Glad I’m in the States until next week!

Stormy weather likely till Friday
Web posted at: 7/15/2009 6:53:58

Vehicles ply on a road in West Bay with a haze of dust reducing visibility in Doha yesterday. IBRAHIM R O

DOHA: Thick layers of fine dust blanketed Doha yesterday as a heavy northwesterly wind blew across the country. Sand blown by the wind swamped the interiors and suburbs of Doha, reducing visibility to 1,000 metres or less at times in some areas.

The dust-laden winds, which blew at a speed of 20-40 knots (37-74 kilometres per hour) since early morning, gave a tough time to motorists and outdoor workers. The vehicles on the roads were seen moving with their headlights on. Work at construction sites was affected as the labourers struggled against the dusty winds. Schools cancelled all outdoor activities. Face masks became an immediate hit and pharmacies and shops did brisk business selling the masks.

The bad weather may continue until Friday, said weathermen, warning residents who suffer from chronic health problems to stay indoors and cautioning motorists to drive carefully because of the poor visibility and strong winds.

The sandstorm is expected to lower the mercury by a few degrees but increase the humidity level. The dust and humidity together may create smog. The weathermen forecast a maximum temperature of 43 degree Celsius today against yesterday’s 44 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature will also be one degree lower than yesterday.

The sea was rough yesterday and the forecaster said it would remain rough today with seven to 10 feet high waves offshore. The dust-laden wind coming from the deserts of Iraq is expected to weaken by Friday.

“We are expecting hazy and hot to very hot weather in the next few days, with the chance of some low cloud. The sea will be high and warning has been issued to the Marine department”, a forecaster said.

The security patrol under the Shamal Security Department distributed more than 1,000 masks to motorists for protection against the dust. The security officials camped at various points on the main roads and smaller roads under the jurisdiction of Shamal Security Department, distributing the masks to motorists, pedestrians and labourers.

Police officers also distributed the masks at various points in Al Khor, Umm Salal, Zubarah and Ras Laffan. The masks were also distributed at the Ras Laffan and Shamal police stations.

The police officials told the drivers to reduce their speed and be careful in the current climatic conditions, which reduce horizontal visibility as a result of the dusty wind and haze.