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Oman - Climate and Weather

Oman is a very hot and humid country with a desert climate, often described as sub tropical. The summer season between May and August is extremely hot even in the coastal areas. The capital city of Muscat, although right on the coast, can be unbearably hot. Temperatures can regularly reach over 40°C. Inland areas can reach temperatures in the extreme, as this area is also drier.

The best time to visit Oman is in winter, between the months of December and March. The temperatures are much more bearable but still manage to reach in the region of 25°C, which is classed as a heat wave in some countries, while minimum temperatures are often around 13°C.

Rainfall is very low in Oman throughout the year, although some areas do experience higher levels at certain times. Between June and September Salalah in the Dhofar region of the country experiences monsoons which transform the landscape from dry and thirsty to a lush green oasis complete with waterfalls. The hills of Dhofar are often blanketed in heavy fog during this time. Rainfall in wintertime can come in sudden but short bursts causing flash flooding, often catching the unsuspecting camper off guard. It is not unheard of for whole campsites to be washed away after just one hour of rainfall, due to the fact that there is limited foliage on the mountainsides to break run off. Thunderstorms are also a regular occurrence throughout winter.

The Shamal, which is a very strong wind full of dust, blows during spring and summer, usually from March until August. Sometimes the winds are so strong they can cause sand storms. Lightweight waterproof clothing is highly recommended for foreign visitors during these months.

Although Oman has seasons they are not as clearly defined as they are in the UK or US, for example, where just the word ‘winter’ brings thoughts of snow and fleecy lined coats, and the word ‘autumn’ reminds you of a landscape of crisp golden leaves. Omani seasons are simply hot, hotter and even hotter still.

Light dress is recommended throughout the year, with a lightweight jacket for cooler evenings. No matter how hot it gets women are not allowed to wear shorts or tops that show the shoulders. One piece bathing suits only are allowed on the beaches. The best choices of fabrics are cotton and linen as other fabrics, particularly polyester, will be far too hot.

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