The extreme cold spell brought the temperature on top of the Jebel Jais mountain cluster, situated at a height of 5,700 feet, to as low as -3 degree Celsius on Friday night, as the snow blanketed an area extending over 5kms.
Major Saeed Rashid Al Yamahi, Manager of the Air Wing of RAK Police, who flew a helicopter to the top of the Jebel Jais mountain, said that the entire area was covered with 10 cm of snow.
“The sight up there this morning was totally unbelievable with the snow-capped mountain and the entire area covered with fresh, dazzling white snow. The snowfall started at 3pm on Friday afternoon and heavy snowfall began at 8 pm and continued till midnight, covering the entire area in a thick blanket of snow,” he said.
The temperature on top of the mountain cluster remained extremely cold during the daytime on Saturday with the temperature rising to just 1 degree Celsius in the afternoon. “Much of the snow was still there even when we flew back from the mountain this afternoon. It is still freezing cold up there and there are chances that it might snow again on Saturday night,” Major Al Yamahi added.
M. V. Varghese, Observer at the RAK Airport Meteorological Office, said that there were scattered rains in Ras Al Khaimah on Friday night which brought the temperature down. “The rain along with the cold easterly winds and low-lying clouds could have bought the temperatures further down on the mountains,” he said.
Plans for mountain resort
Ras Al Khaimah had experienced heavy snowing on Jebel Jais mountains four years ago on December 28, 2004. “I had flown there in 2004 when it snowed, but this time it was much bigger and the snowing lasted longer as well,” said Major Al Yamahi.
The Jebel Jais mountain cluster is situated around 25kms from Ras Al Khaimah City and normally has significantly lower temperatures even during the peak summer months.
Ras Al Khaimah has plans to capitalise on the attractive climate and spectacular scenery of Jebel Jais by building a mountain resort and ski slope on top of the mountains.