Weather Report: Desert Rain

November 18, 2014

For the first time since arriving in Saudi Arabia, it rained.

And I nearly cried.

I come from British Columbia, the Fraser Valley to be specific. An area of Canada where it rarely snows (surprising right?!) but almost always rains! We probably get more rain than sunshine in the valley… which means that we are constantly surrounded by lush, drippy greenery… and many lakes and rivers.

And I moved to the desert. Where rain rarely happens! But when it does… it is a big event!

It also causes a lot of problems if the rain amounts to anything substantial as why would a desert city build any type of effective rain drainage systems right?! Roads flood, sewers overflow, etc. It’s a bit yucky.

And you know how at home, when it hasn’t rained in weeks and it finally rains again, the oils and such that have collected for weeks on the roads get damp again and turn roads into absolutely skating rinks?!! Well… imagine what the roads are like when it hasn’t rained in months and months!! Disastrous. If Riyadh traffic was bad before the rain… its absolutely treacherous after the rain!!!

Also… at home, when it rains, it smells like damp earth and wet evergreens and fresh and new and bright and cheery… when it rains in Riyadh, it smells like a thousand wet dogs who haven’t been washed in years! Definitely not the same fresh smell at all!!!

But, the rain is a beautiful thing. The sound of rain drops on palm trees… and knowing that tomorrow in the desert things will come alive and flowers will blossom and bits of grass and greenery will start to grow and embrace the sunshine that will come again in the morning… until they fry to a crisp in the scorching heat. But never mind that. It is beautiful for the moment!

I was at work when I saw patients coming in with speckled clothing… and then heard rumors that it was absolutely pouring outside. So I took off in a hurry to go see the rain for myself. I found people clustered around the doorways, videoing and photographing this monumental event. Or just waiting for the rain to subside before making a run for their vehicles or their ride…

So I joined the crowd of people photographing/videoing the event…

Even my weather app shows the weather to be pretty crazy in Riyadh… thunder and lightening today even?


I went to play football (known as soccer to us Canadians) with some friends at a compound… and when we came it out was all damp and rainy too… raindrops on the windshield of the car… amazing!! 🙂

imageThis is a pretty cool shot taken by a friend of Riyadh traffic… featuring rain and a lightening bolt!


For the record, it rained a couple times in Riyadh in the space of a few weeks… From about the middle of November to the beginning of December. But nothing since then.

Also… fun fact… Average rainfall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is approximately 104mm or 4 inches per year. In comparison, average rainfall in Chilliwack, British Columbia is about 1667 mm or 65.6 inches. Bit of a difference?! How did I go from one extreme to the other??!!

“Over all Saudi Arabia provides extreme weather condition that may prove hard to adjust at first but once you settled down in this wonderful nation the ever changing cool and hot weather condition will prove to be easy to adapt to and seeing the rain fall at some time of the year is enough to give excitement to everyone.” So states

I think they’re trying to convince us that it is a wonderful climate to live in? I wouldn’t say that website would convince me to live in Saudi Arabia. But I do agree… it is a wonderful nation and the climate is not as terrible as one would think. I suppose if there was massive A/C failure across the city, I’d probably disagree greatly! But when the A/C works… it is completely tolerable. And while sometimes I miss the rain, I don’t miss the 190 days of grey dismal dreariness that is the norm back in BC!!

Enough about weather now.

Weather girl… signing off


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