Met Office says foreign forecasts not credible



JEDDAH: KHADIJAH HABEEB

Published — Wednesday 24 April 2013

Last update 26 April 2013 10:02 am

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The General Presidency of Meteorology and Environment Protection (GPMEP) warned against news made by world forecasters that the climate of the Kingdom is changing drastically, saying such media reports are imprecise and incorrect in the majority of cases.
Hussain Al Qahtani, spokesmen of the GPMEP, told Arab News: “The Kingdom is experiencing a transitional climate period and the General Presidency will issue a detailed report within the next two days on the weather situation in Saudi Arabia, highlighting the different factors that affect the climate.
He pointed out that weather changes are not in line with these foreign reports.
“Individuals shouldn’t take any notice of such reports no matter how credible the sources are.”
He added that most of the time, reports issued by global forecasters are proved wrong, challenging them and saying foreign forecasters cannot predict changes except in distinct regions.
The statement came in response to an American website that discussed the low pressure surrounding the Red Sea, a strong system that will continue until next week and is expected to affect the regions of Yanbu, Al Rayees, Ragheb, Thoul, Asfan, Jeddah, Shabieh and Laith. The report added it is expected to expand to the middle, north and east of the Kingdom.
At the same time, the Jawal special message service and Saudi Telecom stated that rough weather and heavy rain are predicted and that weather forecasters are predicting low pressure around the Red Sea area to expand to the east of the Kingdom between 24-27 April, with the existence of low, thick clouds carrying heavy rain from the west to the middle and east of the Kingdom.
Hussain Meira, vice president of GPMEP, said: “The rain predicted by global weather forecasters is not hazardous and the rainfall in Taef and Al Baha is seasonal. In addition, the Makkah region will not be affected.”
Nasser Al Sumaiti, an environmental expert, assured that there are climatic changes occurring in the Kingdom. Proof of this is that the weather has become more stable in the majority of areas in Saudi Arabia, with volatilities over the Aseer region and parts of the Jazan areas due to humidity. This will form clouds over mountainous areas and rainfall at noon time.
“Despite news about climate changes, the presidency confirms saturated tropical moisture that will prevail tomorrow evening and whose effects will become clearer at the end of this week and early next week, with clouds carrying large quantities of rains, concentrating in the middle and western regions, as well as the Al-Baha, Aseer and Eastern regions. Rains are expected to reach 50 millimetres in 24 hours in some areas, especially in the Taif, Baha and Riyadh triangle.
Dr. Ali Ashqi, professor of Climate and Environment at King Saud University, criticized the news on foreign websites: “Rains are predicted south west of the Kingdom that may expand to Taif, but this doesn’t mean that there will be heavy rains that will lead to catastrophe. There are foreign websites that transmit sensational news and rumours but we should always rely on local experts to arrive at a sound conclusion.”
Civil Defense in Jazan has warned citizens of the dangers of descending into valleys during flood run-offs following rainfall for their own safety, stressing the importance of following civil defense instructions to reduce the risk of rain and floods during the rainy season.

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