A year's worth of rain in Qatar as floods hit Saudi Arabia

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A year's worth of rain deluged parts of Qatar on Wednesday as seasonal storms moving through Saudi Arabia flooded streets in a city northwest of the capital, Riyadh.

The storm system clouded skies over parts of the Arabian Peninsula, but struck Doha, the capital of Qatar, particularly hard.

At Hamad International Airport in Doha, the home of Qatar Airways, at least 79.5 millimeters (3.13 inches) of rain fell, according to the Qatar Meteorology Department. Typically, the hot, desert country sees around 50 millimeters (1.97 inches) of rain in a year.

The rainwater flooded streets and shut down some stores and malls in Doha. Local media reported some schools and daycare centers closed early because of the downpour. At 4 p.m., the temperature was a cool 24 degrees Celsius (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

In Saudi Arabia, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said heavy rains and flooding struck the city of Buraydah, some 320 kilometers (200 miles) northwest of Riyadh, as well as the surrounding Qassem province.

Saudi civil defense authorities posted photos online of their officers rescuing people by boat. Other social media images showed rushing water eating away at roads and cars stuck in the floodwaters.

Normally parched countries on the Arabian Peninsula have seen rain in recent days as the seasons change across the Gulf.

In Dubai, clouds darkened the skies and rain fell across parts of the city and elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates. At Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, the temperature stood at 22 C (71.6 F) at 4 p.m.