Snowfall in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia experienced heavy snowfall in January 2016, but this photograph of snow-covered palm trees wasn't taken there.

Agence France Presse

Claim: A photograph shows snow-covered palm trees in Saudi Arabia.


WHAT'S TRUE: Parts of Saudi Arabia experienced heavy snowfall in January 2016.

WHAT'S FALSE: The photograph of snow-covered palm trees seen here was taken in Saudi Arabia.

Example: [Collected via Internet, January 2016]

Historical snowfall in Saudi Arabia. Arab citizens of the country have seen snow for the first time in 85 years.

In the last 48 hours, there has been snow, hail and even in different parts of Saudi Arabia. The clearest phenomenon made an appearance last Friday, when drivers from the main road between Mecca and Medina were forced to reduce the speed of their vehicles to avoid sliding down a completely snowy path.

The first snow in a generation has been quite an event among Saudis, and there have been many who have rushed to record the event and broadcast images of a strange phenomenon in the area.

Origin:In January 2016, news accounts from the Middle East reported that parts of Saudi Arabia had experienced the uncommon weather phenomenon (for that area) of heavy snowfall, particularly along the important roadway between Mecca and Medina:

Heavy snow fell on the highway between Meccah and Al-Medinah.

Torrential rain and heavy snow were also reported in Asir region, Abha city, the Governorates of Ohod Rafida, Al-Sarrat, Rajal Almaa, Mahayel and Bellahmar.

The mountainous regions of Al-Souda and other parts of Saudi Arabia are also snowcapped.

The Presidency of Meteorology and Environment Protection forecast cold weather to continue for the coming two days.

Various residents also posted photographs to social media showing the snow that blanketed the highway from Mecca to Medina:

The starkly beautiful photograph of snow-covered palm trees (seen above) that sometimes accompanied such reports originated with a different time and place, however. It's an Agence France-Presse photograph from three years earlier taken not in Saudi Arabia but in Jerusalem:

A Palestinian man walks near palm trees as snow falls in Jerusalem's old city on January 10, 2013. Jerusalem was transformed into a winter wonderland after heavy overnight snowfall turned the Holy City and much of the region white, bringing hordes of excited children onto the streets.

Last updated: 19 January 2016

Originally published: 19 January 2016

Featured Image: Agence France Presse

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