A low-pressure system will track eastward across the Middle East over the coming days, bringing rain, mountain snow, and strong winds to parts of the region through at least Dec. 7. The affected areas include northern and central Israel, Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, northern Jordan, southern Syria, northeastern Saudi Arabia, central and southern Iraq, northern and central Iran, southeastern Turkmenistan, southern Afghanistan, and western Pakistan. Forecast models indicate rain will develop in Israel, Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan around midday Dec. 5 will gradually spread southeastward. As the rain in that region ends early Dec. 6, precipitation will simultaneously begin to develop across northeastern Saudi Arabia, southern Iraq, and western Iran. This area of precipitation will become more intense throughout the day as it spreads toward eastern Iran, Afghanistan, southern Turkmenistan, and western Pakistan. The storm system should depart the region, Dec. 7.
Forecast models indicate widespread rainfall totals of 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) are expected across the hardest-hit areas of central Iran; locally higher totals up to 15 cm (6 inches) are possible in the mountainous regions. Lower amounts of 2.5-5 cm (1-2 inches) are expected in northern Iran and southern Afghanistan; 1.25-2.5 cm (0.5-1 inch) are expected in the rest of the affected area. Flooding is possible, especially in low-lying communities near watercourses and other bodies of water, as well as in urban areas with easily overwhelmed stormwater drainage systems. Sites located downstream of large reservoirs may be subject to flash flooding after relatively short periods of intense rainfall, especially in areas that were impacted by previous storms, including southern Iran. Rain-induced landslides or mudslides cannot be discounted in areas of elevated terrain. The adverse weather conditions could cause sporadic power outages throughout the affected area through at least Dec. 7.
In addition to rain and flooding, heavy snow is expected to fall across portions northern Iraq, northern Iran, northern Afghanistan, and southeastern Turkmenistan, especially in mountainous reigon
Traffic and commercial trucking delays might occur along regional highways. Flooding downpours could inundate some low-lying roads in areas with poor drainage. Strong winds might also pose a hazard to high-profile vehicles. Floodwaters and related debris may render some bridges, rail networks, or roadways impassable, impacting overland travel in and around the affected area. Flooding in urban areas could also result in significant traffic congestion.
The disruptive weather will likely cause some delays and cancellations at regional airports, including those serving Tel Aviv (TLV), Beirut (BEY), Damascus (DAM), Tehran (IKA), Baghdad (BGW), Quetta (UET), and Herat (HEA). Authorities may temporarily suspend port operations if strong winds trigger hazardous sea conditions, impacting maritime freight and passenger traffic in the Mediterranean Sea or Caspian Sea. Flooding could block regional rail lines; freight and passenger train delays and cancellations are possible in areas that see heavy rainfall and potential track blockages.
Disruptions triggered by inclement weather and resultant hazards, such as flooding, could persist well after conditions have improved; it could take days before any floodwaters recede and/or debris is cleared. If there is severe damage to infrastructure, repair, or reconstruction efforts may result in residual disruptions.
Monitor local media for weather-related updates and advisories. Confirm all transport reservations and business arrangements prior to travel in the affected area through at least Dec. 7. Seek updated information on road conditions before driving or routing shipments through areas where severe weather is forecast; plan for possible supply chain disruptions if routing shipments through affected areas. Stay away from elevated streams, creeks, and other watercourses that are prone to flash flooding. Do not attempt to navigate flooded roadways. Exercise caution in hilly terrain due to the potential for landslides. Charge battery-powered devices in the case of prolonged electricity outages.