Saudi Arabia’s weather bureau expects humidity to reach 85%, making it feel even hotter
File image: Pilgrims preparing to board a Haj flight from Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport last year.Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News Archives
Islamabad: Temperature during Haj season this year is expected to reach 50 degrees Celsius on some days.
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental protection also expects humidity to reach 85 per cent, making it feel even hotter.
The authority said there was a chance of some rain clouds over Makkah, where pilgrims arrive to circle the Kaaba, and visit nearby holy sites that are visited during the pilgrimage, Arab news reported.
It also expects wind that could lift dust and a chance of rainfall, especially in the afternoon and evening hours, over Makkah.
In 2018, pilgrims were met with heavy rain on the first evening of Haj.
Asphalt may help
Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat, Deputy Minister of Haj Saudi Arabia, reportedly told Saudi Newspaper “Asharq Al-Awsat” in an interview that the Ministry of Haj and Umrah, in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Holy City, launched an initiative to alleviate the heat of the holy sites by implementing a project to coat the asphalt, as a way to reduce the temperature by as much as 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.
He said that 3,500 square meters were covered so far and that other sites would be treated over the next year.
He added that the project also included measuring the temperature every 10 seconds through sensors placed under the asphalt.
Ahmed Manshi, the director general of the holy sites and seasons in Saudi Arabia, also said “The project aims to reduce the temperature of the pavement surface in Shaiben area, and there is a possibility to include the Jamarat facilities, and coat several pedestrian pathways at holy sites.”
He explained that the success of this project would be measured through surveys distributed to pilgrims.