Hi there. Long time no blog. As usual.
So it's summer again, which in Qatar means scorching 40 to 50 degC temperatures and stifling humidity. I talked a bit about the summers here last April.
But so far this summer has been a bit different to last year's due to the presence of a few dust/sand storms over the region;
(click the images to view the original reports on the NASA website, and click the images on those pages to view them high-res)
We've experienced a lot of dust storms since we've been here, but the recent ones have hung round for much longer than previously - several weeks in some cases.
While the sand in the air isn't that thick or moving that fast it does get in your eyes and hair and clothes and stick to your skin, so it's not too pleasant. Plus you get a lot of sand blowing into the house; under the doors, through the poorly sealed windows and through the air-con, so the floor and surfaces are quickly coat in a fine layer of sand. They also turn the whole sky a dirty shade of yellow, rather than the usual brilliant bright blue.
There is a positive side to them though; a combination of the wind that causes them and the fact that they block out the sun somewhat means the temperature is 5 or so degrees lower than it should be, which does make quite a big difference, especially in the evenings. It's actually been cool enough to BBQ and eat outside at night!