Storm to unload heavy rain, mountain snow across Middle East

Eric Leister

A potent storm system will continue to bring impactful weather to millions of people from parts of the Arabian Peninsula to Pakistan into Sunday.

This same storm brought flooding to parts of Greece, Turkey, Syria and Israel in recent days.

The storm got underway on Thursday with scattered showers and a few thunderstorms from eastern Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and far northern Oman into southern Iran.

Rounds of rain will continue throughout the same region into Saturday and raise the risk of flash flooding.

The heaviest rain arrived across United Arab Emirates, far northern Oman and southeastern Iran late on Friday and will continue into Saturday.

Total rainfall of 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) will be common with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 150 mm (6 inches).


This magnitude of rainfall can create severe flooding and result in a high risk for mudslides in areas of rugged terrain. Significant travel disruptions are also possible.

Areas of flash flooding are already being reported across the region, including in Qeshm, Iran, where passengers ports have been closed due to the rainfall.

Locations from Doha to Dubai and Muscat typically average 75-150 mm (3-6 inches) of rainfall for an entire year.

Locally heavy rainfall will also spread across the lower elevations of Afghanistan and southwestern Pakistan from late Friday into Sunday increasing the risk of flooding.

Rainfall will diminish as the storm pushes eastward with only a few showers expected in Islamabad and Karachi.

This storm will also produce heavy snow across higher elevations from Iran into Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.

The heaviest snowfall will be focused across Pakistan where some locations in central and western parts of the country will get more than 1 meter (39 inches) of snowfall.

Travel will become dangerous from Saturday into Sunday as the storm unleashes a prolonged period of heavy snowfall. There will also be a high risk of avalanches during this time.

Snowfall accumulations of 8-15 cm (3-6 inches) will be possible in Kabul with more than 30 cm (12 inches) in the nearby mountains.

Heavy snow will spread across northern Afghanistan and northern India late Saturday into Sunday.