BEIRUT: An abbreviated week between holidays turned into a Lebanon-wide deluge, featuring flooding, traffic jams, mountain snow-storms and promises of more to come with torrential showers expected into next week.
Annahar Correspondents in the Chouf area reported an imminent snowstorm forming while our correspondent in Ain Saade said traffic is heavily jammed unlike the wide open Khaldeh street leading to Beirut.
The manager of Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport Weather Forecast told Annahar that the weather will mostly remain as it is till tomorrow.
It will get colder today; the level of the snow gradually decreases with low temperatures. While the snow is now reaching 1600 to 1700 meters, temperatures will fall in the coming hours and at night snow will be reaching 1200 meters.
“Tomorrow morning it will get much colder; there is a possibility of having snow on 1100 meters, the weather will be very volatile and unstable, and we will be having scattered showers and light snow at 1200 meters,” The manager told Annahar.
On Saturday, the rain returns and the weather will be erratic. “It’s typical winter weather, there’s nothing new and nothing exceptional about it.
Reflective of cafes throughout Beirut and suburbs, the Starbucks in Broumana was packed as patrons rushed in from the street to escape the intermittent torrents of rain, bluster and chilly weather outside. An Annahar correspondent described it as a friendly, almost a holiday-like atmosphere, with joking and high spirits among the crowd who were happy to have found a cozy nook. Beirut municipality reported 12 degrees as evening descended with Mount Lebanon at 8 and dropping.
In Barouk, an area in the Chouf District, many people decided it’s better to stay safe than be sorry.
“I am preparing my car for winter, I just put an antifreeze in the engine to stop the coolant from freezing, I checked if the heater system and window defroster are operating, and I put studded tire chains to improve my car’s acceleration and braking,” Nazih Halawi, Barouk resident told Annahar.
A frequently cited estimate is that Lebanon has an average of 800 millimeters of precipitation each year, which leads to a groundwater recharge of 500 million cubic meters of water.
In the case of the water shortage three years ago, the amount of water from rainfall during that winter's rainy season (2013/2014) was about half the usual 800-millimeter average. That set the stage for an acute problem that summer.
“Lebanon’s water shortage is becoming a major cause for concern, hopefully this year the rain and snow will fill up the rivers and wells solving the water scarcity issue,” Adelle Ghusayni, Baakline resident told Annahar.
The Internal Security Forces issued a warning advising people to drive slowly to avoid skidding accidents, according to NNA. Two have been reported dead and 15 injured in 13 road accidents within the last 24 hours, the Traffic Management Center said on Thursday.
The storm that hit Lebanon has paralyzed the shipping and fishing movement, in the port of Sidon, due to high waves.
Heavy rains, accompanied by showers of hail led to the rise of the Awali River causing flooding on the sides of the roads and pooling water in a number of ways amid low temperature. In the old Sidon, civil defense elements worked this morning to withdraw a number of outstanding vehicles by gathering water and ensuring safety of pedestrians, according to NNA.
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