Robust storm set to wallop the Middle East

Maura Kelly

After a break in the stormy pattern, a storm over the Middle East will usher in a variety of impacts into Monday including rain, snow and gusty winds.

Areas of showers and thunderstorms began to pop up from southern Lebanon and Syria to southern Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia on Saturday as the storm approached the region.

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As rain and thunderstorms linger over Iran into Monday, showers will continue to spread east into Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Widespread rainfall totals of 25-50 mm (0.50-1.00 inch) are expected across this region into the beginning of the week. In the areas of heaviest rain, totals can reach 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 150 mm (6 inches) possible in central Iran.

Shiraz, Iran got 62 mm (2.44 inches) over the last 24 hours, and this caused some flash flooding concerns.

This amount of rainfall can lead to flash flooding as well as mudslides in the rugged terrain. This will be a significant concern in areas where the highest rainfall amounts are forecast.

While rain will be spreading across the southern areas of the storm, enough colder air on the northern side of this feature could bring more wintry conditions.

Rain can mix with snow at times from extreme southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq to northern Iran and northern Afghanistan. Higher elevations may even experience precipitation falling as just snow for a time.

Travel could become slippery in locations that have been cold enough to allow snow to accumulate on roads and pathways.

Gusty winds accompanying the storm can help to kick up dust and sand in drier areas across the Middle East and cause a reduction in visibility as well as air quality.

Areas of rain and snow in higher elevations can linger across parts of Iran and Afghanistan through Monday and even into Tuesday in western locations. Otherwise, dry conditions are expected to return to the Middle East through the middle of the week.

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