Jeddah rain brings power pain for some
Jeddah received the first rainfall of the season Saturday bringing a welcome relief from the heat, albeit with power cuts in some areas.
According to the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) office, there was scattered rainfall in and around Jeddah on Saturday with some parts experiencing heavy showers in the afternoon leading to outages.
Among the worst hit areas were the Jeddah-Makkah highway, the Jamia district, Prince Fawaz Project area, the Jeddah airport area and south Jeddah.
Journalist Musa Kalo reported that the rains had disrupted operations by the border guards who were forced to halt marine navigation.
The Civil Defense sent an advisory to the citizens of Jeddah and Makkah through social networking sites to stay away from beaches, street lamps and trees in the next few hours to avoid accidents.
According to PME official Sami Al-Wafi, weather conditions on Sunday would vary from moderate rain to heavy thunderstorms accompanied by winds in Makkah, Madinah and the coastal areas. The thunderstorm is expected to extend toward the southern and eastern parts of the Tabuk region, including the south coast as well as Hail, Al-Jouf and the Northern Border regions.
Al-Wafi said that heavy rains with speeds of up to 60 km/h in Jeddah lasted for only a few minutes in the morning but then picked up after 3 in the afternoon.
The unstable weather conditions are expected to continue through Sunday with a drop in temperature, thunderstorms and winds at speeds ranging from 25 to 45 km/h westerly to northwesterly and southerly to southwesterly in the northern and southern parts of the Kingdom.
There will also be dust storms in Makkah, Madinah, Hail, Al-Jouf and the northern border regions while rain clouds will form over Asir, Al-Baha and the Jazan heights on Sunday afternoon.
The unexpected rains have affected stocks of vegetable in the Central Vegetable Market in Jeddah, especially onions, which according to traders have begun to rot.
Rains also disrupted traffic on the Harmain Expressway as vehicles slowed down to a snail’s pace due to water on a stretch of the highway.
In a positive development, the rains also brought joy to citizens and residents in downtown Balad in Jeddah on Friday night as the lagoon behind the National Commercial Bank’s headquarters turned up a large haul of fish. In a festive mood, Filipinos, many with families ventured into the waters to catch the gift from the sea.
“A cool pleasant weather with fresh fish for free is enough to make anyone’s day,” Ontong, a Filipino expatriate told Arab News on Friday night.
However, the crowds caused a traffic jam on the main road connecting Balad with Hail Street inconveniencing motorists.
Besides the Filipinos who were spotted with thermal boxes to store the fish, the unexpected large catch also attracted several expatriates including Bangladeshis. Many Saudis also stopped to take their share of the catch.
Later, a quarrel erupted among the Filipinos who were arguing over the fish. Police was brought in to disperse the crowds and clear the traffic snarl.