A harsh weather front brought sandstorms, hail and rain to parts of the Middle East, with visibility down in the Egyptian capital as an orange cloud of dust blocked out the sky and pedestrians covered their faces from the wind gusts.

Dusty winds whipped through Israel and the West Bank as well on Wednesday, with hail falling near Tel Aviv and meteorologists announcing that snow was expected later in the day in Jerusalem.

In Cairo, winds reached over 50 kilometers per hour (30 mph), bending palm trees along the Nile River, while in Libya rain, wind and cold weather was driving increased demand for electricity that overloaded the electricity grids and led to power outages.

Sandstorms are common in the region in late winter and early spring.

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