JEDDAH: Early warning systems have forecast moderate to heavy thunderstorms in Makkah, accompanied by cool showers and active winds that limit horizontal visibility.
The Saudi General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection released the code red warnings and live alert updates on its official Twitter account.
Radar images show rain clouds with expected showers in eastern Jeddah, which is also expected to be affected by rising dust, according to a statement released by the meteorological authority.
صور الرادار توضح #السحب الرعدية الممطرة على شرق محافظة #جدة والتي يتوقع تأثرها بالاتربة المثارة الناتجة من التيارات الهابطة#نرصد_ونحمي pic.twitter.com/wnxPLHV4OP
— الأرصاد وحمايةالبيئة (@PmeMediacen) May 21, 2018
Another code red warning was issued forecasting sandstorms across Jeddah, obscuring visibility to a minimum.
Meanwhile, Jeddah Health Authority has raised the level of preparedness in all its hospitals and health facilities, and has completed all preparations for the sandstorm that has already started sweeping the city.
Thunder and sand #storm forecast for #Makkah and #Jeddah || https://t.co/kvSlNA4zSs #weather #SaudiArabia @PmeMediacen pic.twitter.com/UqfYWvK3lV
— Arab News (@arabnews) May 21, 2018
The local health authority confirmed that all emergency departments in Jeddah’s hospitals were ready to receive any cases resulting from the current dust storm.
The hospitals have been alerted to receive and provide necessary medication for such cases, where the number of patients with respiratory diseases is increasing.
Jeddah Health advised citizens and residents with chest diseases and allergies not to go out in these conditions unless necessary, as the dusty atmosphere usually causes irritation of the bronchial airways. It also warned drivers and motorists to drive slow due to low horizontal visibility and urged the need to exercise caution while driving to prevent traffic accidents.
The statement urges the public to take full care and caution and abide by the provisions of the civil defense.
It also called on people, particularly worshippers visiting the Kingdom for Muslim pilgrimage, to remain vigilant over the risks of weather fluctuations in the region.
The weather conditions will be updated regularly via the authority’s official website and social media pages.