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Cairo sky turns yellow as sand storm takes firm hold

Turbulent weather causes ports to close, expected to persist until Thursday

Ayat Al-Tawy, Wednesday 11 Feb 2015
Cairo sky
Cairo's yellow sky on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 (Photo : Mai Shaheen)
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Cairo's morning sky looked dull yellow on Wednesday as a sand storm kept its grip on the capital for the second day, ushering in the beginning of one of the country's windiest winter months.

Early February marks the start of the Coptic month of Amshir, which falls between February 8 and March 9 of the Gregorian calendar and is infamous for its blustery, sandy storms.

Weather forecasters said the turbulent weather is likely to keep a firm grip until Thursday, with low temperatures and rainfall expected in the capital Cairo, the Nile Delta provinces and north coast.

"Gusty sand- and dust-rattling winds are expected to keep on across most parts of the country, obscuring vision on roads and obstructing navigation," Wahid Saudi, spokesperson for the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA)," said.

At least three ports in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea remain closed off on Wednesday for the second day in a row due to the harsh weather, yielding high wind speeds of 75 km per hour and waves up to 5-6 meters high, port officials told state news agency MENA.

Temperatures in Cairo are expected to dip to a low of 7 Celsius (45 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday with a high forecast at 14 C (57 F). The Mediterranean city of Alexandria on Egypt's north coast should see the same low and a high of 13 C (55 F).

Nile Delta and the Suez Canal towns are forecasted to see temperatures at 1-2 C (34 F) higher or lower, while southern cities are likely to see warmer weather where highs hover around 19-22 C. (66-71 F)

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