“Freak weather terrifies Arab countries.” This is from the Express, which also called the 4 inches of snow a “blizzard,” so you may want to take it with a grain of salt. (See the more measured description at the end of this article.)
4 Feb 2017 – “The UAE was one of a number of Middle Eastern countries to bare (sic) the brunt of a freak weather phenomenon yesterday,” says the Express.
“A shock snowstorm blasted through the Arab country, usually known for its blistering heat, scorched deserts and year-round sunshine.
“The blizzard covered parts of the country with up to 10 centimetres (4 inches) of snow, according to the local Met Office.
“Police warned people against going outside, although the rarity of the occassion (sic) saw many flock to the snow-covered landscapes.
“Social media users tweeted their delight at the weather and snapped their own snowmen.
“Some users described the weather as “apocalyptic” while others remarked that the “final hour was approaching”.
More measured description
A different website, middleeasteye.net/, describes the “blizzard” in more subdued terms.
Middleeasteye argrees that there was indeed “rare snowfall on Jebel Jais, a mountain in Ras al-Khaimah emirate.”
“The mercury fell to minus -2C, with the light snow serving as a magnet for hundreds of Emiratis snapping pictures with smartphones to post on social media sites.”
“The met office said there was a depth of 10cm centimetres of snow in some places on the 2,000m mountain. (That’s more than a mile high, so “rare” snow might not be all that surprising. In fact, according to russia times, Jebel Jais experienced a lighter snowfall in December 2004.)
The Express also talks of “rare lightning strikes, sandstorms, rough seas and high winds of up to 90km an hour.”
Thanks to Stephen Bird and Gareth Gadd for these links
“Get used to it,” says Stephen.