Temperature in Nile Delta was 22-25 degrees during the day, and 12 degrees at night. The hailstorm was experienced 2nd time in six decades
By the end of last March’s first week, the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA) warned citizens to avoid outdoor activities – ‘if you are elderly or suffering from chest or respiratory disease, as airborne dust and sand will reduce air quality.’ Most people still take such advices for granted. They tend to oppose governmental precautions, especially regarding weather.
On March 11, my friend from my hometown, where mother, brother and other family members live, 50 kilometers north of the Egyptian capital Cairo, called me. His voice conveyed an uncomfortable message, asking me to contact my brother in Benha to check that they passed the storm safely!
Southwest winds were expected to affect some areas of Greater Cairo and the Nile Delta, which would stir up sand and dust intermittently, according to EMA.
For the decades I lived there, I only saw it dropping ice once, so it was the 2nd time in 6 decades to experience this situation in the town on the River Nile.
The Light rain expected were too heavy, to turn streets into spotted small muddy lakes. For the spring, it was expected to experience a high of 33 degrees Celsius in Greater Cairo (the governorates of Cairo, Kalubeyya and Giza). Benha is the capital of Kalubeyya, and its temperatures noticeably dropped to 10 – 15 degrees Celsius for the following weeks, until two days ago. Now, .Greater Cairo and the Nile Delta see highs of 22-25 degrees during the day, and a consistent low of 12 degrees at night.
Luckily, there were no loss of lives, but the wooden umbrellas that my late father built for our house’s roof were totally destroyed. My brother’s sons were outdoors for private lessons, in the afternoon, as the electricity was cut. He went to their place, but he didn’t find them. Their teacher took another route to deliver them at home.
In Cairo, we witnessed similar weather without icy rains, and the only damage was for my broken satellite dish. The only person who benefited the storm was the technician who brought me a new one!
Ashraf Aboul-Yazid is a renowned poet, writer, novelist, travelogue writer of Egypt who has authored over three dozen books. He is Editor-in-Chief of Silk Road Literature Series. He has won several awards for his literary works.