Snow in Iran

Snow in Iran

27 January 2018 00:00–28 January 21:00 UTC and 2 February 06:00 & 08:00 UTC

Snow in Iran
Snow in Iran

In late January 2018 a huge snowstorm swept across Iran, causing major disruptions.

Last Updated

05 December 2022

Published on

27 January 2018

By Saviz Sehatkashani (ASMERC ), Abolghasem Ghazanfari (IRIMO) and Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)

The snow started on 25 January, but peaked on 27 January with some areas of western and northern Iran having at least 20cm. All the schools and both the airports in Tehran were closed.

 Meteosat-10 Snow RGB, 2 February, 08:00 UTC. Source: ePort
Figure 1: Meteosat-10 Snow RGB, 2 February, 08:00 UTC. Source: ePort
The accumulated snow levels at Imam Khomeini and Mehrabad airports, from 27 to 29 January, were 80cm and 30cm respectively. The heavy snowfall was the result of the domination of high pressure extending zonally from Balkhash to the Aral Sea, with the core of 1050hPa at surface level.

On 27 January, visibility reduced to just 100m at Imam Khomeini and 300m at Mehrabad airport. On 28 January visibility was still reduced — 400m at Imam Khomeini and 200m at Mehrabad.

The 30cm recorded at Mehrabad was the second highest snowfall amount since the station was set up 60 years ago — beaten only by 40 cm in 1993.

In general, across the country 275km of main roads and 489km of cross-country roads struggled to keep open during the the snow and resulting blizzards. In order to try to reduce traffic problems, all government organisations started their working day two hours later than usual. Schools and universities in Tehran province were closed.

Despite the impacts of the snow, it was welcomed due to the low levels of precipitation the Tehran area had previously had during autumn and winter.

The lying snow could still be clearly seen on the Meteosat-8 and -10 Snow RGBs on 2 February, 06:00 UTC (Figures 2 & 3). The snow-covered ground appears as orange on the RGBs.

 Meteosat-10, 02 February, 06:30 UTC
Figure 2: Meteosat-10 Snow RGB, 2 February 06:30 UTC
 Meteosat-8, 02 February, 06:30 UTC
Figure 3: Meteosat-8 Snow RGB, 2 February 06:30 UTC

Additional content

First snow blankets Tehran, many other Iranian cities (IRNA)
North Iran gets massive snow dump (Strait Times)
Heavy Snow in Tehran Shuts Schools, Airports (Iran Front Page)