Sandstorm shrouds Saudi Arabia’s capital in gray haze

A sandstorm engulfed the Saudi capital and other regions of the desert country on Tuesday, hampering visibility and slowing traffic.

A thick gray haze made landmark buildings in Riyadh, such as the Kingdom Center skyscraper, almost impossible to see from more than a few hundred meters away, although no flight delays or cancellations were announced.

The Saudi meteorology center forecast “dusty surface winds” in the east and in Riyadh, “which reduce horizontal vision,” according to the official news agency.

Dusty conditions were also expected further west, in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, according to the forecast.

Electronic signs along Riyadh’s highways warned drivers to slow down due to reduced visibility.

In central Riyadh, sand accumulated on cars and buildings, and residents struggled to keep it out of their homes.

In some parts of Saudi Arabia sandstorms usually occur between March and May, with a variable intensity.

The frequency of storms

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