19 FEB 2018
The most extensive and significant winter weather of the season has just swept through the Middle East.
Rain fell with enough persistence over the last two days to bring flooding to Iraq, including the capital Baghdad, but especially to the east in the border area with Iran.
Snow fell on the mountain tops of the Zagros, but for the most part the air was too warm for anything but rain.
Throughout the region, thunderstorms and glowering clouds brought windy and wet weather. City street flooding made Tripoli in Lebanon and interesting drive.
In Kuwait and northern Saudi Arabia, the consequent southerly breeze first lifted temperatures to well above normal, nearly to record levels in Riyadh, then knocked them back as a strong northwesterly whipped up the dust and sand.
Lightning over Gaza City on Saturday during an early morning thunderstorm. MOHAMMED ABED/AFP
Ominous clouds hang over the city of Nablus in the West Bank. ALAA BADARNEH/EPA-EFE
Gaza City – after the storm. MOHAMMED ABED/AFP
Baghdad’s streets are well washed after heavy rainfall in Iraq. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP
Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip after the most active of the winter’s rain storms. MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS
The wind swirls at 85km per hour in Kuwait. YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP