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Climate and WeatherBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Qatar - Climate and Weather
The majority of the country consists of sand dunes and salt flats across a low infertile plain. However, the northern part of the peninsula has some scattered vegetation. In the north-west, there is a small hill range with the highest point called Qurayn Abu al Bawl, which is just over 100 m (328 ft); it is a part of the Jebel Dukhan range. The most distinctive feature of this country is located in the southern part, on the border with Saudi Arabia. It is a wide area of dunes that surround an inlet of water from the Persian Gulf. It is called Khor al-Adaid and its a most common spot for those who like jeep safaris or day trips out of Doha.
The Climate of Qatar can be described as a subtropical dry, hot desert climate with quite low annual rainfall and very high summer temperatures. There are big differences between maximum and minimum temperatures, especially in the inland parts of the country. On the other side, the coastal areas are fairly influenced by the Persian Gulf, so they see a smaller difference between highs and lows, meaning that maximum temperatures are lower and minimum temperatures are higher, but with a high moisture percentage.
Summers, which last from June to September, are very hot with low rainfall. Daily maximum temperatures can easily reach up to 40°C and more. Winter is cooler with occasional rainfall. Spring and autumn are warm, mostly dry and pleasant, with maximum temperatures between 25°C and 35°C and cooler night temperatures between 15°C and 22°C.
Winds and rainfall
In Qatar, there is a hot, dust-laden wind, called Shamal, which blows mostly in the spring and summer period, from March till August. These winds can sometimes be quite strong, causing sandstorms that can occur throughout the year. Sandstorms are most common in the spring time. Most rainfall can be expected during the winter months. They are sudden and short but with heavy cloudbursts and thunderstorms.
The climate of Qatar is desert, having quite mild winter and a very hot and sunny summer. The rainfall usually occurs during the winter months, and it reaches only around 100 mm (4 inches) per year. Besides the winter months, some rains may occur in springtime, in March, April and even May. During the summer, it never rains. The rains in Qatar occur in the form of brief showers, which can sometimes fill the wadis, the river beds which remain dry most of the year, and cause flooding.
In the capital Doha the daily average temperature goes from 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) in January, to 35 °C (95 °F) in July. Being a small and flat country, it has a uniform climate throughout the territory.
The climate of Qatar is classified as BWh climate, which is a hot, dry desert climate with an annual average temperature above 18°C.
Temperature by seasons
Winter – in the period from December to February the temperatures are mostly mild and the sky is clear. This weather is quite similar to spring weather in Europe. Lows are around 13/15 °C (55/59 °F), and highs around 22/24 °C (72/75 °F). However, it s possible to have some cool days, especially in January, when the temperature can drop below 10 °C (50 °F) at night, and be around 15/16 °C (59/61 °F) in the afternoon.
Spring – during this period the temperature rises rapidly, so already in April, highs can be around 32 °C (90 °F). Spring is also the season in which some warm winds come from the Arabian desert, bringing dust and sand storms. It also affects some sudden increases in temperature, which can exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in April. It is not that common, but sometimes this happens even in autumn, especially in October.
Summer – The period from May to September is very hot, with highs from 38 to 42 °C (100 to 108 °F), and lows around 25/29 °C (77/84 °F). During the days when the wind from the inland desert prevails, the daytime temperatures rise above 40 °C (104 °F), and in some rare situations even 45/47 °C (113/117 °F). During the periods without desert winds, it is less hot but wetter, with highs around 37/38 °C (99/100 °F). As the summer months slowly pass, the relative humidity gradually increases. In the second part of the season, August and September, it can be particularly stifling.
Autumn – It is usually sunny and still hot in October, when the maximum temperature is around 35 °C (95 °F), while in November it can drop to 28/29 °C (82/84 °F).
The sea is a little cold from January to March, especially in February when it can reach the lowest temperature of about 20 °C (68 °F). However, it is still quite warm in December, when it's about 24 °C (75 °F). In summer, the waters of the Persian Gulf become very warm, exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) from June to October.
When it comes to clothing in Qatar, visitors should be aware that there are two different seasons, so it's wise to bring two types of clothes, one for winter, one for summer.
In winter – people should wear some light clothes for the day, sweaters and jackets for the evening and for cool days, scarves for the wind.
In summer – people should choose some lightweight clothes, made of natural fabrics. Desert turbans, sweatshirts and scarves for air conditioned areas are advised. For women, it is best to avoid shorts and miniskirts outside of tourist resorts, because of the culture and tradition in this country.
Read more about this country
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