Dubai’s climate and weather patterns result from its unique geographical location. Primarily a sandy, and occasionally rocky desert, Dubai features sand dunes, dried river beds, and oases in the west.
With the Persian Gulf forming the east coast and the Hajar Mountains further towards the Gulf of Oman, Dubai offers a mix of seasons that range from harsh to delightful.
Climate of Dubai
Situated between 55° 16 East and 25° 16 North in latitude and longitude respectively, Dubai enjoys a subtropical, arid climate with significant variation in seasonal temperatures.
Summer in Dubai
Dubai experiences scorching heat and clear blue skies from May to October. The heat is relentless, exacerbated by highly humid conditions that compel people to seek air-conditioned indoors.
With nearly eleven hours of sunshine, daytime temperatures average around 105°F (40°C) and can soar to 113°F (45°C) during the hottest months, from June to September. A sharp drop in nighttime temperatures provides some relief from the oppressive heat.
Winter in Dubai
Winter, falling between November and April, is the ideal time to explore Dubai. Winters are pleasantly cool, with consistent temperatures throughout the day. Temperatures can drop as low as 50°F (10°C) in December and March, which are the coldest months in Dubai.
Most of the annual rainfall, which is meager and irregular at best, occurs during the winter months. With only eight hours of sunshine compared to eleven during the summer months, winters encourage both locals and visitors to enjoy Dubai’s array of outdoor activities.
Weather of Dubai
While Dubai’s climate remains stable, its weather displays 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. However, certain trends have emerged over the years that allow us to study and predict Dubai’s changing weather patterns.
Temperature and Humidity
Temperature and humidity vary across Dubai. Inland areas with high humidity experience daytime temperatures averaging about 105°F (40°C), while nighttime temperatures drop significantly.
On the coast of the Persian Gulf, the cooling effect moderates temperature variations, resulting in milder evenings compared to inland regions. The mountainous areas are also cooler and less humid than the inland areas during the summer.
Annual rainfall, though sparse and irregular, averages 8 to 13 cm per year. However, this figure can vary significantly from one year to the next. While most of the rainfall occurs during winter, from November to April, summer showers are not uncommon. These summer showers are a result of south-westerly monsoons in the region, providing a respite from the high humidity and intense heat.
Sandstorms and Gale Force Winds
During the summer, a low-pressure area develops over Dubai, causing strong north-westerly winds to blow from Saudi Arabia. These winds, known as “Shumal” (north) in Arabic, become gusty and unpredictable upon reaching Dubai due to the nearby mountains in the East.
Intermittent strong south and southeasterly winds from the sea interact with Shumal, stirring up desert sand and reducing visibility. Rapid shifts in wind direction can lead to choppy waters and sandstorms that can last for days. During these storms, people typically stay indoors, and fishermen avoid going out to sea.