* More showers expected in some places today
* Sunday sees thunderstorm, strong winds and severe dusty conditions
* Authorities advise people to exercise caution in inclement weather
Doha and other parts of Qatar experienced a thunderstorm and heavy rain Sunday along with strong winds and dusty conditions for some time.
The rain came as a relief as it brought down the temperature at a number of places, including in Doha.
Today’s forecast says thundery rain is again expected in some places along with strong winds, according to the Qatar Met department. There is a similar forecast for offshore areas, too, which are also likely to see high seas.
In a tweet last evening, the weather office said the chances of sporadic rain in some areas will return today, which may turn into thunderstorms, but will be less severe than what the country experienced yesterday.
Tankers and workers were deployed to remove rainwater. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Heavy rain yesterday afternoon. PICTURE: Jayaram
An uprooted tree on Airport Road. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil
Rainwater removal in progress on a waterlogged road yesterday. PICTURE: Jayaram
The dust storm led to a sharp drop in visibility yesterday. PICTURE: Ram Chand
Taking no chance, a deliveryman waits for the rain to stop on the hard shoulder of a Doha road. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed
Vehicles on a waterlogged road. PICTURE: Thajudheen
An aircraft moving among the rain clouds over Doha. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
The Met department urged people to follow the latest updates through its official social media accounts.
The wind speed may go up to 25 knots during thundershowers in both inshore and offshore areas today, with the sea level rising to 8ft.
The detailed forecast says cloudy conditions are expected at times and there is a chance of scattered rain, which may become thundery in some places, with blowing dust also likely occasionally. The weather map showed that the chances of rain are particularly good in places like Abu Samra and Mesaieed today.
Offshore, too, it will be cloudy today and there is a possibility of scattered rain, which may turn thundery in some places at times.
The minimum temperature today is expected to be 21C in Dukhan and Abu Samra, 22C in Al Khor, 23C in Wakrah and Mesaieed, and 25C in Doha and Ruwais. The maximum, on the other hand, will range from 27C in Dukhan to 30C in Doha.
Yesterday, a minimum temperature of 19C was recorded at the Hamad International Airport (HIA) area and Al Khor. In comparison, the minimum was 25C and 24C in these two places, respectively, on Saturday. Similarly, the minimum temperature dropped to 20C in Doha (airport area) yesterday as compared to 25C on Saturday, 20C in Wakrah (24C on Saturday), 20C in Mesaieed (22C on Saturday), 20C in Abu Hamour (25C on Saturday) and 21C in the Qatar University area (23C on Saturday), the weather charts showed. The maximum ranged from 29C in the HIA area, Dukhan, Ruwais and Umm Bab to 32C in Karana, Batna and Jumayliyah, with Doha (airport area) recording a high of 31C.
In Doha, yesterday afternoon’s heavy rain was preceded by a spell of windy and severe dusty conditions, resulting in a sharp drop in visibility. The rain then started and conditions turned thundery soon after. The winds left trees uprooted in some places, according to reports.
The Met department said in a tweet that Doha and most eastern, central and southern areas in the country were witnessing thunderstorms of variable intensity accompanied by strong dust-raising winds with visibility dropping below 1km in some places.
A number of videos and images of the thunderstorm and downpour were also posted online from different parts of Qatar, highlighting the intensity of the conditions.
The department advised people to take extra care in such conditions and follow a list of safety tips it provided through social media: “Stay indoors during thunderstorms; make sure to close the windows if you are inside a car; avoid standing on roofs or near tall trees and electricity poles; and stay away from open water sources”.
It listed hail, strong downdraft winds, dust & poor visibility, and lightning as the hazards associated with thunderstorms.
On its part, Hamad Medical Corporation, too, advised the public to take necessary precautions due to the forecast for rain, strong winds and poor visibility across most of the country.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) tweeted about low visibility in Doha city and most areas on the east coast due to strong winds. “Please be cautious. Motorists are reminded to take necessary safety measures. Have a safe drive,” it said.
“Driving in rainy conditions may be dangerous if we are not cautious enough. The slippery surface between the tyres and the wet road makes cars lose control and skid,” the MoI added. It also provided some safety tips to ensure safe driving in such conditions: “Do not be deceived by water-logging that appears in front of you and do not try to test it; as you drive, use the brakes gradually to slow down the car; reduce your speed, avoid overtaking and do not use hazard lights; avoid using mobile phones; and leave a safe distance, greater than the one you would leave in normal conditions”.
The police could be seen managing traffic on a number of roads as the weather conditions worsened.
The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) said in a tweet that they keep monitoring drainage networks and ensure that highways are free from rainwater accumulation, “round the clock from the rain emergency room”.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) tweeted the phone numbers of different municipalities in the country so that people could contact them during rain-related emergencies.
Tankers and workers were deployed on roads from where rainwater accumulation was reported during the day.