Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Fact Check: Is Snow Rare in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia?

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Lately, winter storms have been a global occurrence, with cold weather causing power outages in Texas and snow hitting parts of the Middle East.

A viral video of snow-covered Saudi Arabian camels in Tabuk caused Saudi Arabia to trend on Twitter on Thursday, prompting online discussion about how common snow is in the region.

The National reporter Joyce Karam shared on Twitter the video of the “confused” camels surrounded by snow.

“Woah. Heavy snow storm is underway in Tabuk in #Saudi Arabia. These camels look so confused:,”

The Claim

A viral tweet that shared the video of camels in Tabuk captioned “Hey climate deniers — it’s snowing now in Saudi Arabia…” has elicited many claims regarding the reality of snow in the northern Saudi Arabian region. The tweet has garnered more than 80,000 likes and 30,000 retweets.

A user who claims to live in the country replied and wrote: “Correction information: I live in Saudi Arabia, it snows annually in the north of the country, it is not a rare event.”

“There is no denying climate change but it’s also not that rare for this region -Tabuk – in northwestern Saudi Arabia to experience snow. Contrary to popular perception, not every region in the kingdom is warm year-round.”

There is no denying climate change but it’s also not that rare for this region -Tabuk – in northwestern Saudi Arabia to experience snow. Contrary to popular perception, not every region in the kingdom is warm year-round.

— Fahad Nazer فهد ناظر (@fanazer) February 18, 2021

The Facts

The climate of the Middle East is typically hot and dry, as it is home to the Arabian Desert. However, historically, some areas of the region have experienced winter weather.

On Wednesday, a rare winter storm hit multiple countries in the Middle East, including Libya, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Some areas experienced snowfall for the first time.

After one user tweeted that snow in Saudi Arabia is a yearly occurrence, another user responded, “I looked this up because your comment made me curious and actually you are wrong. Though snow if [sic] not unheard of in Saudi Arabia it is extremely rare and considered an ‘extreme weather event’. This is the first time in 50 years it’s snowed in the Sahara. A far cry from ‘yearly’.”

I looked this up because your comment made me curious and actually you are wrong. Though snow if not unheard of in Saudi Arabia it is extremely rare and considered an “extreme weather event”. This is the first time in 50 years it’s snowed in the Sahara. A far cry from “yearly”.

— RoxyBlue (@Sablesabine) February 18, 2021

The user said that yearly snowfall in Saudi Arabia is extremely rare and supported the claim by saying it is the first time the Sahara Desert has received snow in 50 years.

However, the Sahara Desert is not in the Middle Eastern kingdom that lies in the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is in North Africa and has experienced snow within the past 50 years.

Although Saudi Arabia usually is hot and dry, it is not unusual for snowfall to occur in the northern region of Tabuk.

Tabuk is nearing the end of its cooler season, according to Championtraveler.com, which describes the region’s winter season as lasting from December to February.

“Weather stations report large amounts of snow likely to be deepest around December, especially close to late December,” the site wrote.

“It literally snows there every January lol,” one Twitter user claimed about Tabuk.

The region has been reported to be popular with tourists for its snowfall in an article from the Khaleej Times.

It also snowed in Tabuk last month. A tweet from the Voice of America shows a Reuters video of snow in Tabuk on January 10.

❄️❄️❄️Parts of Saudi Arabia were blanketed in snow, Friday, January 10, as temperatures dropped to below zero degrees Celsius. Video shows one man playing in the snow, as his friend hands him a drink, in Tabuk, located in the northwest of the country.

(Reuters) pic.twitter.com/N1dNgKfCuA

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Originally published at https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-snow-rare-tabuk-saudi-arabia-1570347 on .

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