Weather enthusiasts in the United States are lucky to have something that is unique on Earth: a steep north-south mountain range, a large, warm gulf to the south, and a continental landmass that reaches into the polar regions. All of this promotes very warm and very cold air masses that come into frequent contact with one another, making North American weather systems some of the most powerful in the world. When conditions are right, significant weather does happen in other parts of the world, and in this issue we'll take a look at one such example in the Middle East. As we will see, looking at weather systems in other parts of the globe is the perfect way to help sharpen one's forecasting skills.
TIM VASQUEZ is a former Air Force forecaster and author of Digital Atmosphere, a weather forecasting software program. He lives near Norman, Oklahoma, where he keeps busy as a weather consultant and software developer.