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HomeFact CheckViralSnowfall In Mecca? Viral Video Is Doctored

Snowfall In Mecca? Viral Video Is Doctored

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Several social media users are circulating a video purportedly showing devotees amid snowfall in Mecca. According to one user, the Masjid Al Haram was covered in white with the falling snow, while others said the snowfall was the first such occurrence in Mecca’s history.

The archived versions of the posts can be seen here, here and here.

Fact check

Newschecker ran a keyword search for “Mecca snow”, which led us to this tweet from Haramain Sharifain, a news publication from Mecca, dated January 1, 2023. The publication debunked the video, quoting the National Meteorological Centre. A tweet from the Saudi Gazette, dated January 1, 2023, stated the same.

Taking a cue from this, we ran a relevant search that led us to this tweet by @ArabiaWeatherSA, the “largest app” that tracks the weather developments in the region (Saudi Arabia).

According to the tweet, translated from Arabic, the viral video was “technically modified” using filters and that the temperature in Mecca on January 1, 2023, was 30° C, which is not conducive to snowfall.

A tweet from the official handle of the Emirate of Makkah Province, represented by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah Province, debunks the video, too, saying that it was doctored.

Several news outlets, too, debunked the video, as seen here, here and here. According to the Daily Pakistan, amid a rain alert issued for several regions, including Mecca, Jeddah, Rabigh, and Al-Kamil, snowfall is expected in the northern regions of Saudi Arabia, and not in any of the holy sites.

Conclusion  

A video showing devotees caught off guard in snowfall in Mecca was found to be a digitally altered clip.

Result: Altered Media

Sources
Tweet by Haramain Sharifain, January 1, 2023
Tweet by @Saudi_Gazette, January 1, 2023
Tweet by @ArabiaWeatherSA, January 1, 2023
Tweet by @makkahregion, January 1, 2023

(This fact check was first done in Newschecker Urdu by Mohammed Zakariya)


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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