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Sand River in Iraq: All you need to know

Sand River which killed dozens of People

A video of sand river on internet that recently got viral depicts a rare weather phenomenon that brought rain and hail storms to an otherwise hot and dry area in Iraq, causing a ‘river’ of frozen water to stream through the desert.

The video footage shows a river of hail running through the desert following a storm on November 16, 2015. It has been named as the ‘sand river’. As per the online reports, heavy rains over the past few weeks triggered floods that killed dozens of people in Iraq and caused widespread damage in Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

In arid environments, it is common for flash floods to travel rapidly downstream to areas which usually do not receive any rainfall. So, the river appears in the downstream area despite any local indication of the rainfall. Reportedly, in this case, the illusion is compounded by the fact that a significant hail has fallen upstream.

What looks like sand is thousands and thousands of floating hailstones. Hail is nothing but frozen rain which pours down in the form of small pebbles of snow. Hail storms are common in hilly areas but a phenomenon like a flowing river of hail is rare. However, there is no information on its re-arrival or any news of such past incidents.

The name “River of Sand” came from a video that spread several years ago across the world, depicting a rare weather phenomenon in a hot and dry region in Iraq, causing what viewers thought was a river of sand flowing through the desert.

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