Schools and universities in Saudi Arabia's Makkah province will remain closed on Thursday amid expectations of rain.
The province's education department suspended physical classes for pupils and students in Jeddah, Rabigh and Khulais.
King Abdulaziz University suspended lectures at its campuses in Jeddah and Rabigh while the University of Jeddah suspended in-person attendance at all its campuses.
Classes will resume through the Madrasati remote learning platform for all schoolchildren.
The National Centre of Meteorology forecast moderate to heavy rain in many parts of Makkah and Madinah, as well as Jeddah and Rabigh.
Majid Abu Zahra, the head of the Astronomical Society in Jeddah, said the winter solstice began on Thursday at 1.48am.
Thunderstorms are expected in Al Qassim, Riyadh, the eastern region and Tabuk, the Saudi Press Agency reported, with the possible appearance of thunderclouds in Jizan, Asir and Al Baha.
Makkah Municipality said on Wednesday that the city was prepared to deal with the heavy rain.
Earlier, the NCM said thunderstorms accompanied by high winds would limit visibility in parts of Madinah, Makkah and Al Baha.
The civil defence department called for caution in parts of the kingdom due to the possibility of thunderstorms from Wednesday until Friday.
Fully equipped field teams were on standby in all residential areas, ready to protect residents and their possessions, officials said.
The teams will help to manage water flows and prevent pooling as part of the municipality’s response to the NCM's warnings.
The department stressed the need to stay away from places with fast-moving streams of water, valleys, dams and areas where water pools rapidly.
It advised residents to adhere to instructions issued through various media and social networking sites.
NCM spokesman Hussein Al Qahtani said Jeddah was not expected to experience the torrential rains that lashed the city for several hours last month.
Two people were killed in November after strong winds and heavy rain hit Jeddah and swept away cars.
Several people were rescued from submerged cars.