Alexandria witnesses rare snowfall as bad weather hits Egypt

Schools in seven Egyptian provinces were closed on Sunday and Monday because of moderate to heavy rainfall and expected dust storms

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The Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria witnessed its first snowfall in almost a decade on Monday, due to a spell of bad weather which hit the north of the country.

Photos shared on social media showed large areas of the city's waterfront covered in light snow which had been falling intermittently since Sunday night.

Schools across seven Egyptian provinces were also closed on Monday because of the bad weather.

المنشية والعطارين من صديق الصفحة Ayman Alamry

Posted by ‎الهيئة العامة للأرصاد الجوية المصرية‎ on Sunday, December 19, 2021

Authorities announced on Saturday that classes would be suspended in the coastal provinces of Alexandria, Matrouh and Beheira starting on Sunday. However, on Sunday, the government closed schools in four additional governorates, Cairo, Giza, Kafr El Sheikh and Damietta.

Marked by heavy rain, strong winds and reduced visibility, the ongoing cold wave reportedly came from Europe at the weekend, reducing temperatures in the Egyptian capital by 10ºC below the average for this time of year.

Videos shared by the Egyptian Meteorological Authority, the country's top weather agency, showed the worst of the rainfall had taken place in Alexandria, with some parts of the city being covered in hail and snow.

Temperatures in the capital are expected to drop even further as the day progresses, said the EMA.

Moderate to heavy rainfall is also expected in Cairo, the Nile Delta provinces, the Suez Canal’s cities, and parts of Upper Egypt on Monday evening, the agency said.

Wind speeds reached 27 kilometres per hour in Cairo as waves in the Mediterranean reached a maximum of five metres.

The health ministry on Sunday said it had raised the level of preparedness at hospitals across the country to handle any possible surge in weather-related accidents or injuries.

A spokesman for the ministry also announced that ambulances had been stationed in remote areas as well as on a number of motorways to handle potential road accidents.

The governor of Alexandria on Saturday announced that working mothers with children aged 12 or below should take Sunday and Monday as a paid holiday to stay home with their children, who would not be going to school on those days.

Because of dust storms expected to hit a number of Egyptian provinces, the country’s environment ministry advised children, elderly citizens and those suffering from respiratory illness to stay indoors to avoid exposure to dust, which could complicate their condition.

Snowfall was also witnessed in the Sinai peninsula, with videos shared by the EMA showing holidaymakers in the area standing in the open and catching snowflakes in their hands.

تساقط الثلوج علي جبل موسى في سانت كاترين من صديق الصفحة Mohmed abo Gabal

Posted by ‎الهيئة العامة للأرصاد الجوية المصرية‎ on Monday, December 20, 2021
Updated: December 20, 2021, 7:50 PM