Qatar benefits from year-round sunshine, with temperatures ranging from 25ºC (74ºF) up to 45ºC (113ºF) in summer. The best months to enjoy Qatar's pleasant weather are between October and May.
The climate of Qatar is typical of hot and arid desert lands, pleasant in winter and extremely hot in summer. Short transitional periods separate the two main seasons.
The air temperature in January averages a high of 22°C and has an average low of 13°C. The minimum overnight low at this time of year has been known to fall as far as 6°C. The temperature also falls heavily after sunset in the desert, where winds can be cold.
The contrast between summer and winter temperatures is marked, making winter sometimes feel ‘colder’ than the actual temperature would imply.
In July, when the country is at its hottest, the average high is 42°C falling just a few degrees to a minimum average of 30°C. However, the maximum temperature in July and August can exceed 50°C and humidity is highest during these months.
Humidity can often reach 90% in summer. If you wear glasses, take care in summer; going outdoors from air conditioning – or vice versa – the lenses will steam upProtection from the sun is most important (especially for children) with particular emphasis on the use of high-factor sun screen, hats and dark glasses. Natural rather than synthetic fibres are preferable for clothes, which should also be loose-fitting for comfort.
The sea is usually coolest in late January when the temperature can reach a low of 14°C and warmest in September when it can reach 35°C.
Early morning fog is typical of the whole Gulf region, especially in November. However it usually clears by 9 am.
Strong northwesterly winds, known as Shamal, can blow for a few days at a time carrying sand and dust, which also reduces visibility.
Rain falls very rarely in Qatar, but when it does it drains slowly. Total annual rainfall rarely exceeds 75 mm.
The first showers of the year (about October) are known as Wasmi. The word means ‘spot’ (referring to the pock-marks the rain makes on the sand) but is also used to describe animal branding.
Following the rain, temporary ‘lakes’ appear in the desert where seeds germinate rapidly and, for a short spell, the landscape can appear green.
Whereas visitors from cooler countries relish the sunshine and warmth of the Gulf, Qatari nationals love the rain; children go outdoors to play in the water and families picnic in the desert when the skies are clear.