CAIRO: While colder regions have enjoyed warmer winters this year, fueling fears of global warming, Egypt will be entering the first of many cold spells Fawzy Ghoneimy, Director-General of the Center for Analysis and Forecasting told The Daily Star Egypt.
December has been an unusually cold month and January will likely see temperatures dip closer towards freezing.
The highest temperatures recorded this January so far have been 16° while the low has been hovering at 6°.
Ghoneimy said Egypt s temperatures are affected by air masses coming from central and Eastern Europe, as well as the distribution of pressure.
Sometimes there exists simultaneously low pressure, causing unstable weather currently affecting Egypt, he explained.
He expects a further three to four cold waves every month until the end of winter, Mar. 22.
The coldest temperatures in Egypt are usually recorded in central Sinai, where Ghoneimy predicts temperatures will reach three or four degrees below zero.
One prevalent concern with cold waves is the increasing spread of influenza. Ghoneimy says another cause for concern is turbulence and instability in the Mediterranean and Red seas where waves reach dangerous heights.
For the past several years, unstable weather conditions have prevailed on a global scale with effects in Egypt as well. January 2004 saw 35 mm of rain in a single day, which has not been repeated since, says Ghoneimy.
In late January 2005, Cairo recorded a maximum of 28° – an unusually high temperature for the winter season.
Magdy Abbas, Director of the Meteorological Authority of Egypt was quoted in the Al-Ahram newspaper as saying that temperatures have dropped below normal by 3-4°.
He also reported heavy rains in the Sinai which has been falling for the last 72 hours.