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Kuwait braces for yet another dust storm, with low visibility

KUWAIT: A dense dust storm is forecast to hit Kuwait on Monday, raging from the west and rolling toward inner regions in the country, amid very low visibility, forecast at less than 1,000 meters. Kuwait Meteorological Department said in a statement on Sunday that northwesterly winds of 60 km/h will cause high waves at sea. The dust is expected to prevail throughout the night until the early hours of Tuesday. The department urged the people of Kuwait to follow the weather forecast on its website www.met.gov.kw or its smart app KuwaitMet.

Meanwhile, May has become the month with the highest number of sandstorms recorded in 30 days in 25 years, the Kuwait Meteorological Department said. In a statement to KUNA on Sunday, head of the department Dr Hassan Al-Dashti said June was at the forefront for sandstorms during the past half century, but there has been a change in the pattern of climatic phenomena in recent years, which made May take the lead in dusty conditions instead of June.

Dashti added that due to the desert climate of Kuwait, dust storms increase at the end of spring and during the summer. Kuwait witnessed, as of May 16, a sandstorm from the west and northwest of the country, accompanied by 35 km/h and 50 km/h winds, which reduced horizontal visibility to less than 300 meters, suspended air, maritime navigation and affected allergy and asthma patients.

He noted that the storm originated in the Deir Ezzur region in eastern Syria. It was the most intense storm in recent years, as it rolled and expanded eastward towards Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia, into western and northwestern Kuwait. Dashti said a decline in rainfall helped in raising dust in Kuwait, as the 2021/2022 season witnessed the lowest rainfall in 19 seasons during the last quarter century, recording only 87.8 mm, while the general average for the season is 113 mm. – KUNA

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