Saudi winter will ‘not bite’ as anticipated

In this January 2016 photo, Saudi motorists flock to a high road in Tabuk region to enjoy the snowy weather. A meteorologist has reassured the public that this year’s winter will not be as “biting” as some weathermen and climate geeks have anticipated. (SPA file photo)
Updated 07 December 2017
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Saudi winter will ‘not bite’ as anticipated

JEDDAH: A meteorologist has reassured the public that this year’s winter will not be as “biting” as some weathermen and climate geeks have anticipated.
Over the past few weeks, people have been skeptical of the coming winter weather conditions. Social media surfers have been describing the upcoming winter season as “severe” and to be the “coldest” to hit Saudi Arabia since 2007, but their forecast seems to contradict the opinion of experienced weather forecasters.
“Formation of clouds and wind movements give a clear indication that this year’s winter is normal,” Khalid Al-Za’aq, an astronomy researcher and member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Science (AUASS), told Arab News.
He pointed out that locals call the 40 coldest days of winter, “Al-Marbaniyeh,” which begins in December and ends in January. He noted that temperatures, during that period, drops.
Al-Za’aq anticipated that the northern and northwestern regions of the Kingdom, as well as Al-Jouf and Hail would experience sub-zero temperatures.
“It is not new for these parts of the Kingdom. This, in fact, happens nearly every year,” Al-Za’aq said. He added that temperatures in the Qassim region and the northern parts of Riyadh would probably experience even lower temperatures.
He recalled the Kingdom’s weather conditions in 2008, and described them at that time as “harsh enough.” However, the expert said, the current meteorological indications show that this year’s weather conditions would be usual and pleasurable.
According to the expert, the Kingdom is likely to receive heavy rains from the middle of Al-Marbaniyeh.
“This November, the amount of humidity in the central region ascended to 80 percent, similar to that in 1981 and 1982. This indicates that heavy rains are likely to lash the Kingdom…”
Al-Za’aq hailed the General Authority of Meteorology and Environment Protection’s (GAMEP) weather forecasts for their accuracy.
In its short-term weather report, GAMEP announced Wednesday that a cold air mass would start affecting Tabuk, Al-Jouf, the Northern Border and Hail beginning Thursday. This will be accompanied by strong winds creating dusty weather conditions, and will affect horizontal visibility.
The GAMEP expects the sky over the north, east and southeastern regions to remain cloudy. GAMEP’s website also stated that people in the Makkah region, along with those residing in highlands of Jazan, Asir, and Baha could witness thunderstorms. The site added that the cold air mass is also expected to affect the central and eastern parts of the Kingdom.
 


Women’s Bowling Championship 2018 wraps up in Jeddah

Dr. Razan Baker, 3rd left standing, with participants at the Third Women’s Bowling Championship 2018, in Jeddah on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 21 October 2018
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Women’s Bowling Championship 2018 wraps up in Jeddah

  • Sixty-three competitors, many of them amateurs, participated in the competition which consisted of four rounds

JEDDAH: The first Women Bowling Championship in Saudi Arabia took place in October in three cities, Riyadh, Alkhobar, and Jeddah, where it finished at Ice Land Bowling Center on Saturday. Gada Nemer, 42, from Riyadh, who came first in the competition, told Arab News: “I participated in all three tournaments, in Riyadh, Alkhobar, and today in Jeddah. I won first place in Alkhobar too. “I am not a professional bowler, but I used to bowl with my kids. Two of them bowl on the national team. I am very glad to have the chance to participate in these tournaments, and look forward to future ones.”
It was the first tournament of its kind in the Kingdom, as the country is rapidly developing sporting facilities for women and increasing women’s involvement in sports by making reforms that have included allowing physical education for schoolgirls and opening female-only gyms. Sixty-three competitors, many of them amateurs, participated in the competition which consisted of four rounds. All competitors took part in the first round, 33 made it into the second round and 16 qualified for the third.
Participants were between 11 and 56 years of age. Nemer received a cash prize of SR5,000 ($1,335) and those in second and third place received SR3,000 and SR2,000 respectively.
The last round had the best three competitors competing for first place with Nemer winning first prize, followed by Meshael Alabdulwahed (second) and Wissam Al-Harbi (third).

Growing interest
Bowling is still a growing sport for women in Saudi Arabia. The first female bowling team officially registered in the Saudi Bowling Federation, and the Eastern Province bowling team is only seven months old, according to Dr. Razan Baker, member of the board of directors and head of media and women’s participation at the federation.
Baker told Arab News: “We were surprised by the excitement of the participants. The numbers were beyond our expectations.
“Many participants would like to become professional bowlers. With this high turnout I expect bowling centers to start supporting new female bowling teams.”
Abeer Abdulmalik, from Al-Qassim, participated in the tournament. Although she is new to bowling, she made it to the third round.
“I never bowled before in my life, and I did not prepare myself for the game. I am surprised and happy with what I scored, although I was hoping to be in the final round,” she told Arab News. “I would like to take part in future championships.”
Aminah Khan, who participated in the tournament with her two sisters, told Arab News: “I came here for fun, and to try my luck before I go to my midterm exam.”
Khan did not make it to the second round, but said she would start working to improve her skills and take bowling more seriously as a sport.
The championship was organized by the Saudi Bowling Federation, the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, and General Sports Authority, and in partnership with Arab News as the exclusive English media partner for the event.