(MENAFN - Arab News) Schoolchildren had an extended weekend with most schools in Jeddah remaining closed on Sunday following forecast of rains and thunderstorms.
More than 250,000 students in the intermediate and secondary levels in Jeddah schools were supposed to sit for their first semester examinations on Sunday which was rescheduled following some rains.
"Our school is closed today. In fact, almost all the schools in the city are closed because of the weather forecast of thunderstorms and heavy rains early in the morning, though midterm exams were supposed to start in all the schools," Salma Shah, an English teacher in an international school in Jeddah, said.
Another school teacher Sumiya Patel said they received a message from the school saying it will be closed following the rains which started at around 5 a.m. with forecast of more rains during the day.
"There are reports that most of the districts had rains last night and roads were inundated and it would not be safe for children and staff to travel to schools," she said.
Dr. Padma Hariharan, Director and Head of Novel International Group of Institutions, said that following requests from parents to declare a holiday, the management decided to close the school after receiving feedback from school bus drivers on the road conditions. "Roads in areas like Mahjar and downtown were inundated with rain waters and to ensure safety of our children, we decided to keep the school closed," Hariharan said.
Only a few schools like Minarat International School went ahead with the midterm exams and did not let the weather forecast hamper their schedule.
"The school was open today despite the forecast because of the midterm exams. The exams finish around 9 AM and children can return home. I think there was not much risk in that," said Ilham Sayed, a mother.
According to BBC weather forecast as also Presidency of Metrology and Environment said there would be rain for the next 24 hours.
Government agencies predicted cold weather with possibility of strong winds bringing rain over the western and southern parts of the Kingdom beginning Saturday evening.
A belt of rain clouds was expected to extend to the north and north-eastern regions of Saudi Arabia increasing the chances of rain. There was also possibility of heavy rain over the western region, Al-Baha, Riyadh, Qassim and the Eastern Province. Rains were also forecast between Riyadh and the Eastern region, especially on Sunday and Monday, which is expected to subside by Tuesday evening.
The rains would be followed by a cold wave with north and north-westerly winds hitting the country by the middle of this week.
The weather according to the PME on Monday was that the skies will be cloudy to partly cloudy over areas of central and eastern Kingdom and will extend to areas north and northeast Kingdom.
Light to moderate rainfall is also expected in the North border, Algasim, Riyadh, especially parts of Makkah region and Eastern and Southern coastal parts. There is also forecast of rain over south-western and western heights like Asir, Jazan, Albaha and Taif. There will also be a drop in temperatures over parts of north and central Kingdom.