This winter is by far one of the harshest Saudi Arabia has witnessed in recent years. In some of the country's northern regions, sub-zero temperatures are now forcing schools to temporarily change their schedules.
On Saturday, the head of the kingdom's education authority in Al-Jouf region, Saeed Al Ghamedi, announced a delay in the start of school days until Tuesday. In a statement posted on Twitter, Prince Faisal bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, governor of Al-Jouf region, reiterated the same decision by declaring schools would open at 9 a.m. due to the freezing temps being recorded in the area.
The education authority in Al-Qassim governorate issued a similar directive this week, ordering schools to cancel morning line-ups, which usually take place in outdoor playgrounds.
Al Ras city's education authority also took to Twitter to post several statements, warning parents to "take all precautions necessary and provide their kids suitable winter wear" during the next few days.
The decisions to cancel line-ups and delay school opening hours could be extended further if the dips in temperature continue.
The Saudi General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection issued several warnings over the unprecedented cold weather in the past few days.
The decrease in temps is expected to go on throughout this winter season as the kingdom gears up for more cold, rain, and even snowfall in some of its regions.
Saudi Arabia's coldest winter to date
Temperatures dropped to an unprecedented 3°C in the capital Riyadh while areas where winters are known to be cooler, including Tabuk and Al-Qassim, have been recording sub-zero temperatures.
Snow has been increasingly hitting cities where it rarely fell before. Rainfall has also been increasing in volume and resulting in destructive floods in several areas.
The weather conditions are a direct effect of climate change
The effects of climate change have been evident in Saudi Arabia and across the region in the past few years. Major changes in winter temps across the Gulf - a region known for its dry weather - have been directly attributed to the phenomenon.
The country is moving towards developing serious sources of renewable energy and working on increasing the budget of its funding for them.