Weather experts predict long, hot summer

Ibrahim Meiza, professor at the Alexandria Marine Science Institute, expects this summer to be the longest and hottest in more than a decade, due to an astronomical phenomenon that occurs every 11 years in which hydrogen explosions on the sun’s surface cause more solar rays to hit the earth.

"The same thing happened in 1988 and 1999, when the spring and autumn were cut short by a long, hot summer as a result of the phenomenon," he said. He went on to rule out the effects of "greenhouse" gas emissions as the cause for the unusually high temperatures.

Meiza went on to say that telecommunications would likely be affected by rising heat, which can cause certain appliances–such as telephones and television sets–to malfunction.

Physics professor Mohamed Suleiman, for his part, explained that the 11-year cycle was an average, rather than a precise, duration. "The phenomenon can happen anywhere from between seven and 17 years," he said, noting that there was only a 50-percent chance it would occur this summer.

"We can no longer depend on previous records, because visual pollution–and pollution of the universe in general–has distorted the data that we receive from the sun," Suleiman added. "We can’t necessarily say that the high temperatures recorded in 1988 and 1999 came as a direct result of the phenomenon."

According to Salah Mahmoud, head of the state-run Astronomy and Geophysics Research Center, the weather cannot be predicted with absolute certainty more than three days in advance.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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