Kuwaitis pose for photos with hail particles along the side of a road after a storm in the Umm Al Haiman district on Wednesda. AFP
Kuwait, one of the hottest countries on Earth, has been hit by a rare hailstorm that delighted children and their parents, with images of the winter white shared widely on social media on Wednesday.
"We have not seen so much hail during the winter season in 15 years," Muhammad Karam, a former director of Kuwait's meteorological department, said.
Pictures and videos of southern roads partially blanketed in hail and ice spread online to celebrate the rare weather event.
A man and children toss handfuls of hail particles picked up off the side of a road in Umm Al Haiman. AFP
Children donned scarves and raincoats as they scooped up hail in the Umm Al Haiman district, about 50 kilometres south of Kuwait City.
Kuwait's meteorological department said precipitation since Tuesday had reached up to 63 millimetres but that the weather was clearing up.
Karam said he expects the phenomenon to reoccur as climate change disrupts weather patterns.
The Gulf nation endures blistering summer heat, and scientists predict it could become unlivable in future because of climate change.
In 2016, summer temperatures peaked at 54˚C. Parts of Kuwait could get 4.5 degrees Celsius hotter from 2071 to 2100 compared with the historical average, the Environment Public Authority has warned.
Millions of Americans endured bone-chilling temperatures, blizzard conditions, power outages and canceled holiday gatherings on Friday from a winter storm that forecasters said was nearly unprecedented in its scope, exposing about 60% of the US population to some sort of winter weather advisory or warning.
Snow blanketed parts of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt on Wednesday, blocking roads, disrupting traffic and postponing vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 and even exams at some universities. Nearly a dozen roads in eastern and northern Lebanon were closed to traffic because of the snow.
Different rains hit sporadic areas of the country on Wednesday, when it started to fall at 1.30am on Al Samha, Saih Shuaib, Al Bahia, Al Shahama, and different regions of Abu Dhabi.
The well wishers attended a banquet Iftar held by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed on this occasion.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced, on Friday, that 457 people had been arrested, and that 441 police and gendarmerie officers were injured on Thursday, in France, during the ninth day of protests against pension reform.
The pilot and a 14-year-old passenger were seriously injured and remain in hospital in a serious condition.