Egypt experiencing coldest weather in ten years: Experts

Ahram Online , Tuesday 25 Jan 2022

Egypt, known for its mild and cool winters, is currently experiencing relatively colder waves, with experts deeming the current spell as the coldest in almost ten years and attributing the phenomenon to the climate changes.

File photo: Cars move on Qasr El-Nile bridge after heavy rainfall in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: Mahmoud Madh El-Nabi)

The current cold spell has not ever been seen in about ten years, not only because the plummet in temperature degrees, but also due to the long duration of coldness across the country, which nears a whole month, Ali Kotb, a professor of climate at Zagazig University, told Ahram Online.

"Egypt has been witnessing very cold weather at daytimes and frost at night-times for up to a month. Earlier, the country was accustomed to only two-day to week-long cold waves," he added.

Kotb linked the current weather fluctuations to climate changes, which he said is not limited or only cause high temperatures.

The country has been recently witnessing unfamiliar weather patterns, including colder winters with temperatures dropping to unprecedented degrees and summers with Gulf-like heat.

For example, since the beginning of this year's winter, Egypt has been witnessing repeated snaps of cold, with some governorates having witnessed snow-covered streets in the past several days in a seldom scene in an African country.

From tomorrow, a new cold wave marked with a noticeable drop in temperatures is expected to start nationwide, with highs of 12-16 degrees Celsius and lows of 6-9 degree in Greater Cairo, according to the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA).

Such degrees have never been recorded over the past ten years, according to Kotb, who said temperatures are 7 -8 degrees Celsius lower than the normal rates for this time of the year in Egypt.

He stressed that the climate change increases the recurrence of extreme weather phenomenon, meaning cold and heat waves will become more extreme in comparison to the past seasons, noting that is also causes other consequences related to healthy, agricultural and environmental aspects.

Former Chairman of Board of the EMA Ahmed Abdel-Aal agreed with Kotb that climate change has started to affect weather in the country, but he affirmed that temperature degrees are still within normal rates.

"The current wind activity is the reason behind our feeling of the low temperatures," he explained.

The EMA expected an average wind speed of 60-70 kilometres per hour and an average wave height of 2.5-5 metres along the Red Sea and the Red Sea this week.

Egyptians, Abdel-Aal said, used to feel wind activity for around two days at most, but now it extends for longer time due to climate change affects.

Abdel-Aal predicts current weather spell to abate by the end of January.

The climate change impacts are currently limited but they may exacerbate in the coming decades, professor Kotb pointed out.

However, temperature fluctuations and wind movement may endanger some agricultural crops, especially those that are sensitive to certain weather conditions, according to Kotb.

Some winter crops are facing no problem with the current cold wave such as wheat, beans, Mohamed Fahim, head of the Climate Change Information Centre at the Ministry of Agriculture, said in televised statements on Saturday.

He added that other crops might suffer due to the current weather like mango, urging farmers to stick to the ministry’s recommendations to face such circumstances.

Last year, some mango farms witnessed decrease in productivity caused partially by the drop in temperature degrees.

Egypt has adopted several steps to cope with climate change.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, a global gathering aimed at fighting against climate change consequences, will hold the 2022's edition known as (COP27) in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in November.


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