Single cell thunderstorm cloud

Cold front with thunderstorms over the Middle East

6 April 2006 00:00 UTC

Single cell thunderstorm cloud
Single cell thunderstorm cloud

Cold front with thunderstorms over the Middle East in April 2006.

Last Updated

25 May 2022

Published on

06 April 2006

By Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)

On 6 April Meteosat-8 captured the passage of an intense cold front over the Middle East. At 13:00 UTC, the cold front stretches from north-west Iran over Iraq and Kuwait to Saudi Arabia.

It separates dry, cool air to the west from warm, moist air to the east (see Interpretation, 10:15 UTC). As can be seen in the animation, intense thunderstorms quickly develop during the afternoon hours along the cold front moving from Kuwait/Southern Iraq towards Iran.

At the same time, behind the cold front, strong north-westerly winds (Shamal) cause dust storms over Western Iraq that move towards Saudi Arabia.

Another interesting feature on the images below is a major cloud system over southern Saudi Arabia, which developed from convective clouds over the Red Sea and the nearby mountain range in the area south of the subtropical jet streak (marked by a long band of high-level cirrus clouds crossing the Arabian Peninsula) within the relatively moist air mass of Indian Ocean origin.

Such convective cloud systems are quite common in April over the Arabian Peninsula (in particular over the mountain ranges), and they can produce short, but very intense rain showers/thunderstorms. As an example, in 2005, on 25 April, severe thunderstorms over western Saudi Arabia caused local flash floods killing several people (see RGB image from 25 April 2005, 10:30 UTC).

 
Met-8, 06 April 2006, 13:00 UTC
Figure 1: Meteosat-8 RGB Composite IR12.0–IR10.8, IR10.8–IR8.7, IR10.8, 6 April 2006, 13:00 UTC
Animation (10:15–16:00 UTC)
 
Met-8, 06 April 2006, 13:00 UTC
Figure 2: Meteosat-8 RGB Composite WV6.2–WV7.3, IR9.7–IR10.8, WV6.2, 6 April 2006, 13:00 UTC
Animation (10:15–16:00 UTC)
 
Met-8, 06 April 2006, 13:00 UTC
Figure 3: Meteosat-8 RGB Composite NIR1.6, VIS0.8, VIS0.6, 6 April 2006, 13:00 UTC
 
Met-8, 06 April 2006, 13:00 UTC
Figure 4: Meteosat-8 Channel 05 (WV6.2), 6 April 2006, 13:00 UTC