Dramatic videos show rare tornado touching down in Qatar
At least one twister was observed in the northern part of the desert about 50 miles north of the capital city of Doha, where thousands of spectators are attending the 2022 World Cup.
Kamal Pandey was recorded as a tornado spun through Ras Laffan, Qatar, on Dec. 7.
A rare tornado touched down in Qatar early Wednesday afternoon, local time, about 30 miles away from the 2022 World Cup’s most northern stadium. It was unknown whether anyone was injured.
Qatar has been hosting the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, with a historic 2.4 million spectators attending the games since they started on Nov. 20 in the capital city of Doha. There were no scheduled matches on Wednesday. The tournament's quarterfinal round will begin on Friday when Croatia takes on Brazil.
The Qatar Meteorology Department and others shared footage on social media of a dark, swirling tornado as it touched down in Ras Laffan Industrial City in the northeastern part of the Arab country.
The first video the agency posted around 4:52 a.m. EST shows a large band of ominous clouds overhead with what looked like a bulb-shaped funnel spinning underneath. A longer, 14-second video, posted around 5:12 a.m., shows a narrower view of the tornado from a bit farther away.
Weather enthusiast @Arab_Storms of the United Arab Emirates posted a close-up video of the twister with the message "Tornado in Ras Laffan now - #Qatar":
The Qatar Meteorology Department earlier in the day had warned of a line of severe storms, producing large amounts of hail, moving through the region shortly before the tornado touched down. “Be careful!” the department warned in its post.
“There was a weak upper trough and surface front nearby that led to thunderstorms with heavy rain, hail and isolated tornadoes in far north Qatar,” explained AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.
Tornadoes are rarely seen in the desert landscapes of the Middle East, although there have been twisters observed “as recently as 2019 and 2016” in Qatar, Nicholls noted.
He further explained that this time of year, when rain is more prevalent through April, is when tornadoes are more likely to form in the atmosphere.
It is the first time the World Cup is being held in the Middle East, and seven of the eight soccer stadiums in Qatar have been built specifically for the tournament.Report a Typo