Dubai’s climate and weather patterns are a result of its unique geographical location. Primarily a sandy, and rarely a rocky desert, Dubai has sand dunes, dried river beds, and oasis in the west. With the Persian Gulf forming the east coast and Hajar Mountains further up towards the Gulf of Oman, Dubai offers a mix of seasons that vary from harsh to divine.
Climate of Dubai
Located between 55° 16 East and 25° 16 North, latitude and longitude respectively, Dubai enjoys a subtropical, arid climate with substantial variation in seasonal temperatures.
Summer in Dubai
Blue skies and scorching heat mark Dubai summers, from May to October. The heat is unrelenting, worsened by highly humid conditions that force people to seek air conditioned indoors. With nearly eleven hours of sunshine, daytime temperatures touch 105° Fahrenheit (40° Celsius) on an average, and soar to 113°F (45°C) during the hottest months, from June to September. A sharp drop in night temperature offers relief from the oppressive heat.
Winter in Dubai
Winter is the ideal time to tour Dubai. Falling between November and April, Dubai winters are pleasantly cool, with equable temperatures throughout the day. Temperatures dip as low as 50° Fahrenheit (10° Celsius) during December and March, the coldest months in Dubai. Much of the annual rainfall, scanty and irregular at best, occurs during the winter months. With only eight hours of sunshine against eleven during the summer months, winters encourage locals and visitors to enjoy Dubai’s array of outdoor activities.
Weather of Dubai
Unlike Dubai’s stable climatic conditions, its weather shows considerable variations year after year, especially during the summer months. From sandstorms and gale force winds, to rain, fog, and thunderstorms, Dubai’s weather remains unpredictable. Over the years, however, certain trends have emerged that allow us to study and predict Dubai’s changing weather patterns.
Temperature and Humidity
Temperature and humidity vary across the length and breadth of Dubai. For instance, in the inland areas, where the humidity is high, the daytime temperatures average about 105° Fahrenheit (40° Celsius) while the night temperatures drop by half.
On the other hand, the coast of the Persian Gulf has a cooling effect. The variation in temperatures is moderate. Thus, the evenings on the coast are not as cool as in the inland regions but the cool sea breeze certainly helps. The mountainous regions are also cooler and less humid than the inlands during summer.
Annual rainfall, though scanty and irregular, averages 8 to 13 cm per year. This figure however changes quite drastically between successive years. While much of the rainfall occurs during winter, from November to April, summer showers are not uncommon. A result of south-westerly monsoons in the region, it gives an interval from the high humid conditions and intense heat.
Sandstorms and Gale Force Winds
During summer, a low pressure area develops over Dubai forcing strong north-westerly winds to blow from Saudi Arabia. These winds, also known as Shumal (north) in Arabic, become gusty and unpredictable on reaching Dubai, because of the mountains in the East. Interspersed with strong south and southeasterly winds from the sea, Shumal kicks up the desert sand and reduces visibility. If the shifts are rapid, it results in choppy waters and sandstorms that last for days. During storms, people stay indoors and fishermen stay off the port.