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January warmer than usual.

ALTHOUGH January was warmer than normal, the kingdom experienced a cold wave with a significant drop in temperatures.

The average temperature recorded last month was 18.1C, which is 1.1C above the long-term normal for January, along with above-average precipitation.

The Meteorological Directorate said in its monthly weather report, which was released yesterday, that the highest recorded temperature was 29.2C at Bahrain International Airport (BIA) on January 4.

This goes on record as the third highest maximum temperature for January since 1946 - only exceeded by January 23, 1953 at 31.7C and January 31, 2015 at 29.7C.

The lowest temperature recorded was at Durrat Al Bahrain at 10C on January 31, while on January 26 the temperature was 10.8C at BIA, 9.9C at Sitra Island, 10.1C at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), and 10.4C at King Fahad Causeway.

However, the apparent temperature, which is the temperature people actually feel, was much lower due to strong winds.

"The mean minimum temperature of the month was 15.4C, which is 1.3C above the long-term normal," said the report.

"Although the temperatures were above the normal in general, Bahrain was affected during the period from January 23 to 28 by a cold wave accompanied by a noticeable decrease in temperature with fresh to strong Northwesterly winds.

"This was due to a movement of a low upper trough that holds a cold air mass towards the northern parts of the Arabian Peninsula and the Arabian Gulf.

"The Northwesterly winds also had a noticeable effect on the feeling of cold weather."

Bahrain has experienced similar cold waves in which temperatures dropped to 10C or lower during January in 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016 and 2018.

Previous weather reports also indicated that the lowest temperature ever registered in Bahrain was on January 20, 1964, which was 2.7C recorded at BIA.

"The month was wet with five rainy days, accumulating 23.4mm of precipitation at BIA and this is approximately one-and-a-half times more than the long-term normal for January, which is 14.5mm," added the report.

"The highest monthly rainfall ever recorded during January was 135.9mm which occurred in 1959.

"The highest precipitation was 12.6mm, which fell on January 5 at BIA and the highest daily rainfall ever recorded during January was 49.1mm which occurred at BIA on January 22 1959."

The report also showed that the total monthly precipitation recorded for January was 23.2mm at Sitra Island, 21.8mm at King Fahad Causeway, 19.2mm at BIC and 12.8mm at Durrat Al Bahrain.

It also highlighted that the mean relative humidity for January was 64 per cent, while the mean maximum relative humidity was 80pc and the mean minimum relative humidity was 47pc.

"The Northwesterly winds accounted for 56pc, with gusts reaching 36 knots on January 14 at BIA and King Fahad Causeway," added the report.

"Blowing dust was reported on January 14 and visibility dropped to 1,500 metres at BIA."

The GDN reported yesterday that an expected change in wind patterns will lead to scattered rain and dust storms next week, with temperatures dropping to as low as 10C.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Feb 7, 2020
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