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Middle East Weather Overview

The Middle East, particularly in recent years, is not a region that the average traveler would be educated in, nor have much idea of what the weather in the region is like. While many areas in the Middle East are not advised to travel to due to the volatile nature of the region, there are areas which are still safe to visit and an enjoyable holiday can be had.

Including countries such as Kazakhstan, Gaza Strip, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan the terrain across this region is varied which result in various different weather conditions prevailing as you move from north to south or east to west. The area is abundant in mountain ranges and there is also the entirely landlocked Caspian Sea which lies in the west. Altitude and proximity to water are two factors that have a major affect on the weather so this is primarily why so many different climates are present.

The large majority of the Middle East is arid to semi arid and droughts are not unusual across many of the countries. Despite the fact that much of the continent is arid there are still vast expanses of fertile valleys and forests, and in some parts- for example Yemen, there are lagoons which are set amongst deserts.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is the worlds largest landlocked county and is the 9th largest country (by land mass) in the world. The country is made up of extensive desert and semi arid steppes, so conditions can get quite harsh in some parts.

Upon the borders of Afghanistan there are mountain ranges present which see snow capped tops all year round, even in the harshness of summer. In the steppes to summers are hot, sometimes unbearably hot, however the majority of the time the low humidity makes the heat much easier to tolerate. In some parts of the Middle East the temperature wills rise into the 40âs and the humidity is rampant which makes for extremely uncomfortable conditions.

Obviously as the country is so large the weather conditions vary greatly, however it is best summed up by saying that summers are warm to hot and winters are cold, but dry. It is best to look at the conditions in Kazalinsk to see what kind of weather prevails. The climate is best described as a continental one, with 4 distinct seasons.

In the east of Kazakhstan the winters are much colder, this is primarily due to the high mountain ranges that are present, which in parts will maintain snow cover for the entirety of the year.

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is one of the driest countries in Central Asia, due mainly to its extensive lowlands. Made up mainly of semi arid steppes, the conditions can get quite harsh at times. In the East you will find high mountain ranges, which as previously described in Kazakhstan, will maintain snow cover year round.

The east of Uzbekistan is very dry, particularly when considering its altitude in parts. The low rainfall in the east is also due to its distance from the Sea and the rain shadow that forms out of the Pamir and Himalayan mountain ranges.

See the conditions for Tashkent, in Uzbekistan to gain an idea of the annual weather conditions.

Tajikistan

Tajikistan lies south east of Uzbekistan and also lies to the north of Afghanistan. Tajikistan is the smallest country in central Asia and is made up largely of mountain regions- namely the Pamir mountain range. More than 50% of the country infact lies 10 000 feet above sea level- meaning that weather extremes are likely.

Qatar

Qatar lies in the south of the Middle East and occupies the small Qatar Peninsula which is bordered on 3 sides by the Persian Gulf. The peninsula, which juts 161 km into the Persian gulf is home to very very hot summers and mild to warm winters. If visiting Qatar try to visit in the âwinterâ months as you may find your self suffering from heat stroke and sunburn if you are not used to the summer extremes.

Much of the peninsula is a low, barren plain which conditions of dry areas and extensive sand deserts. In the south west you will find the amazing âKhor Al Adaidâ which translates to âinland seaâ as the extensive rolling sand dunes have the effect of creating an ocean like appearance made out of sand dunes.

May to September in Qatar is very very hot and the country sees almost no rain at all/ The rest of the year will see occasional showers but its is largely very dry. The winters are mild and warm and can be very pleasant and sunny.

While normally you could expect more tolerable conditions on the coast, this isnât really the case for Qatar as the humidity can reach extreme highs along the coast, which when combined with high temperatures can lead to unbearable conditions.

Yemen

Yemen which lies south of Saudi Arabi and at the south end of the Arabian Peninsula is a country which can be divided into four separate regions- the western and eastern highlands, the coastal plains of the west and the Rub al Khali in the east,

The hot lands of Yemen, or which are locally known as the âtihamahâ are a flat coastal plain which play host to lagoons, despite the fact the area is largely arid. These lagoons create large marshy areas which can be home to malaria carrying mosquitoes, so be sure to take extreme precaution if visiting this part of the country.

Dubai

Dubai is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, lying on the Arabian Gulf, is fast becoming a very popular tourist destination. The city is home to a very hot and often very humid climate with the barometer measuring temperatures in excess of 40 degrees. You may think that you can take a refreshing dip in the Arabian Gulf if the summer highs get the better of you- but with the water temperatures often sitting in the high 20âs or even the 30âs, its not exactly refreshing! So best escape to the comfort of you hotels swimming pool!

Rainfall in Dubai is light for much of the year, although it is not uncommon for the rain to fall hard and heavy for a whole day. In fact, just recently in January 2008 a record rainfall of 120mm was recorded in just under 24 hours! However, generally the most rain falls from January to March with the rest of the year seeing minimal rainfall. The humidity in Dubai sits at about 60% though can be higher in the cooler months and less in the scorching hot summer months.


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