Tabuk's northern region has been affected by a polar wave accompanied by heavy snowfall that capped its mountains Thursday night. Many sightseers across the Kingdom and tourists from other Gulf states visited the area to enjoy the scene.
Tabuk’s snow rests on the Jabal al-Loz (Almond Mountain), named after the almond trees that can be found on the high-altitude mountain.
The international road northward towards Halat Ammar’s crossing, which is 60 kilometers long, also witnessed a huge influx of sightseers visiting the Almond Mountains. The region, along with neighboring countries on the northern border, sees heavy snowfall around this time of the year annually.
Over the next few days, Saudi Arabia will witness a drop in the temperature that's expected to fall below zero degrees Celsius in the north of the country and reach around 8 degrees Celsius during nights in Riyadh and the surrounding areas.
Hussein Al-Qahtani, the official spokesman for the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection, reports that the snowfall in the Tabuk heights this year is less severe than that of last year, adding that the snowy weather witnessed Thursday isn't classified as a snowstorm, but rather as light snowfall, which had been heavier by this time of the year previously. He also pointed out that the winter in Saudi Arabic is now approaching its final quarter.
Al-Qahtani explained to Asharq Al-Awsat that this year’s winter is less severe than the previous year in terms of temperature as well.
He adds: “We have noticed in recent years that the temperature drop has exceeded 8 degrees Celsius below zero in some regions, but so far we have not recorded this sharp decrease in temperatures, and the Kingdom did not face severe polar waves as witnessed in the past years.”
For his part, Major Abdulaziz Al-Shammari, media spokesperson for the Civil Defense in Tabuk, explained that there is a preemptive plan in place that includes all relevant government agencies, stressing that emergency contingency coordination between all relevant government agencies is smooth.
Shammari also told Asharq Al-Awsat that the civil defense was ready for the snowfall last evening and indicated that these preparations included the deployment of safety and field patrols in two main sites, the Alaqan and Al-Zaita Centers.
Al-Shammari stressed that the civil defense centers are keen to ensure the safety of all the visitors and vacationers who flocked to the area to see and enjoy the snow.