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Rare hailstorm in Kuwait

It is one of the hottest desert countries on the planet. However, Kuwait was the scene of a rare hailstorm that delighted residents on Wednesday. “We haven’t seen such a large amount of hail in winter for 15 years,” former director of Kuwait’s meteorology department, Mohammed Karam, told AFP.

Hail fell on Wednesday but also on Tuesday in Oum al-Haiman, about 50 kilometers south of the capital. Children donned warm clothes to pick up hailstones, while netizens flooded social media with photos and videos of roads partially covered in hail.

Up to 63 millimeters of rain fell in some areas, the weather services said, saying the weather was expected to improve from Wednesday. While hailstorms are “rare” in Kuwait, they could increase in coming years due to global climate change, warns Mohammed Karam.

The oil-rich Gulf country experiences very hot summers, and risks becoming unlivable at certain times of the year as the planet warms, scientists say. In 2016, the mercury there recorded a world record, at 54 degrees Celsius. In parts of the country, temperatures could rise by 4.5 degrees above historical averages between 2071 and 2100, according to the Public Environment Authority.

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