Dense fog and low visibility were reported from different parts of the country yesterday and similar conditions are likely to continue in the coming days, the Qatar Met department has said.
Motorists were advised to follow safe-driving tips as visibility dropped sharply in some places. Also, the mercury level is expected to continue staying above the average levels for this time of the year.
In a statement yesterday, the Met department said the country is under the influence of “an upper-level high-pressure system and the weather is stable in general”. However, humidity levels will continue to rise at night over the coming days and light winds have also been forecast. This, in turn, will make conditions favourable for mist and fog formation over most areas late at night and early in the morning, resulting in zero visibility at times, according to the weather office. The detailed forecast for inshore areas today says misty to foggy conditions are likely in most places at first, resulting in poor visibility (1km or less), followed by mild daytime conditions with some clouds. It will be relatively cold by night.
Misty to foggy conditions are also expected in offshore areas at times.
The mercury level will continue to be relatively high. For instance, the temperature will remain above the average levels in Doha with a maximum of 27C and minimum of 18C expected in the city today, the Met department has said.
Elsewhere, a minimum of 15C is forecast in Mesaieed, Wakrah, Al Khor, Dukhan and Abu Samra. Yesterday, Abu Samra, Sheehaniya and some other areas recorded a minimum of 14C, while the maximum was 28C in Jumayliyah and other places.
Meanwhile, thick fog in the early hours of the day – and the resultant dip in visibility - led to traffic jams in some places yesterday. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) reported on social media that “visibility is poor in the early morning in most parts of the country, especially the Shamal, Wakrah and Dukhan highways, due to heavy fog”.
Traffic jams were also reported from Umm Salal towards Doha and from Kheesa towards Doha due to road accidents involving a number of cars, the MoI said, noting that traffic patrols had been stationed at the spots to control vehicular movement.
As forecast by the Met department, visibility fell sharply at a number of places in the country since Saturday night, continuing into the early hours yesterday. For instance, thick fog was reported from central and northern Qatar after midnight, resulting in almost zero visibility in Ruwais, Ghuwairiyah, Jumailiyah, Al Khor, Sheehaniya, Shehaimiya and Dukhan, the department tweeted.
Then, around 6am yesterday, the weather office said latest satellite images showed “widespread thick fog with zero visibility in most areas”. The situation gradually improved as the day went on. However, misty and foggy conditions returned in the evening, with the Met department noting that “fog has started in southeastern areas with visibility dropping to 400m in Mesaieed and Wakrah.” The fog was expected to cover more areas gradually.
Commuters using the Doha Corniche and roads in its neighbourhood said they could hardly see anything beyond a certain point for a while, especially around 6-6.30am yesterday. "All the (West Bay) towers seemed to have vanished for more than half-hour," said a resident, adding that some motorists chose to park their vehicles along the promenade and wait for visibility to improve.
Similar cases were reported from places, including Wukair, Wakrah and several others, sources told ‘Gulf Times’.
Operators of some luxury boats berthed at The Pearl-Qatar and Lusail, meanwhile, some vessels were unable to move out of the marinas due to poor visibility.
The MoI and Met department have urged people to drive cautiously in fog and follow the tips provided in an advisory available on their social media platforms. The dos and don’ts include slowing down cars, leaving more space between vehicles and avoiding manoeuvres such as overtaking, among several others.
Also, motorists should not use hazard lights while driving in fog, the advisory noted, adding that fog lights and low-beam lights be used instead. The Met department has also asked people to follow latest updates and warnings through its official social media accounts.
Related Story