KUWAIT (MEMO/AFP) – The Indian monsoon depression has hit the Middle East causing high temperatures in the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, Iraq, Iran and Egypt.
The city of Jahra in Kuwait recorded a temperature of more than 50 degrees Celsius, according to Sky News.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Meteorological Authority expects the Indian seasonal depression to extend to Egypt, causing an extreme heatwave, but its effect will be less severe compared to neighboring countries.
The passage of India’s seasonal depression over the Mediterranean Sea modifies air mass and increases temperature and humidity, thus increasing the air temperature.
The seasonal depression results from intense solar radiation that heats the air over land while the adjacent water bodies remain cold. This leads to a decrease in air density in the land areas with a reduction in the value of the surface atmospheric pressure, eventually forming the depression.
The seasonal depression attracts the monsoons to India and Southeast Asia and results in a significant rise in temperatures in the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, Iraq and Egypt.
Its impact also affects the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey and parts of the European continent, especially the southern and eastern regions.
Wildfire Season Begins
Rescue teams scrambled to douse a massive blaze in Lebanon’s largest pine forest on Wednesday that authorities said could be deliberate, as the country braced for another summer of fires.
The fire in the northern Dinniyeh region broke out on Tuesday night, prompting the army and volunteer firefighters to intervene to try to salvage one of the Middle East’s lushest pine forests.
The army on Wednesday said it dispatched helicopters but it was still struggling to contain the fire, hours after it started.
“Unfortunately, the forest fire season starts at the Batramaz forest in Dinniyeh,” said Environment Minister Nasser Yassin, who visited the area on Wednesday.
“It is possible that the fire was sparked deliberately,” he said, urging authorities to investigate.
“May God forgive those who did not appoint forest guards, who left forest areas without firefighting equipment, and who neglected the development and support of civil defense,” environmental activist Paul Abi Rached wrote on social media.
Last July, it took Lebanon days to extinguish wildfires that ravaged pine forests in the north, left a 15-year-old volunteer firefighter dead and forced many people from their homes.
Scientists have warned that extreme weather and fierce fires will become increasingly common due to man-made global warming.