Southwest Asia has been hit by 2 major and large sandstorms within the span of 48 hours, in what could be regarded as the finale for this sandy and dusty conditions, as the overall weather pattern is set to change as soon as later this week.
March 17, 2012:
A low pressure formed over northern Iraq, and winds quickly accelerated towards the centre of the low, blowing from eastern Syria all the way into Iraq. A super sandstorm quickly formed, covering the entire land of Iraq. And a high pressure with cold air formed behind the low, ensuring all the sand will move southeastward into Arabia. The sandstorm quickly engulfed Kuwait and KSA. Later, sandy conditions made their way to Bahrain and Qatar with gusty winds. On Sunday Mar 18, dusty conditions reached the UAE but with much less intensity as the high pressure caused the major sandy air to turn clockwise into central KSA and then reach Yemen. In addition to that, the water of the Arabian Gulf tend to lessen the impact of such dust storm once the dusty air reaches the UAE.
Mar 19, 2012:
As the low and high pressure travelled eastward in close proximity, large pressure gradients set over SE Iran and SW Pakisatan, resulting in another, yet rare, massive sandstorm there. The sand and dust got pushed southward over the Gulf of Oman, into the northeastern coastlines of UAE and northern coastlines of Oman. This is incredibly rare as it is not a typical area for such large scale sandstorms. Fujairah, Rak, and Khassab in Oman, got hit by sandy conditions worse than other parts of the country, with visibility going down to 500m. These cities are usually the least dusty as they are much more protected from the sand of the empty quarter. But this time all the sand came from the north, from Iran and Pakistan. And the mountains of the east coast trapped the dust.