Climate and monthly weather forecast

Flag of Egypt
Flag of Egypt

The climate of Egypt

Egypt mainly has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) - the climate is extremely hot and dry except for the Mediterranean influence on the north coast, and the hot and arid (Köppen BWk) area along the Red Sea coast. Egypt is a transcontinental country that spans the northeastern corner of Africa and the southwestern corner of Asia. The Isthmus of Suez is a land bridge that connects the African and Asian parts of the country. The Red Sea lies in the east, Sudan is in the south, Libya is in the west, and Israel and Gaza Strip are in the northeast. The Tropic of Cancer passes through Egypt, and the Saharan and Libyan deserts influence the climate heavily. The Mediterranean and Red Seas are primary climatic factors in the northern and northeastern coasts.

Egypt, the sunniest and driest country in the world, has a predominantly desert landscape except for the Nile Valley and delta region. Outside the Nile Valley, the topography is typically arid, with scattered oases. Winds blow sand and create dunes into prolific structures that grow over 30 meters high. The Nile Valley occupies only 5.5% of the country’s area but is the only fertile region, and hosts 99% of the population. Much of the country is part of the Saharan and Libyan deserts. The desert on the western side of the Nile sees higher temperatures and lower rainfall than that on the eastern side. The Sinai Peninsula joins the African part of Egypt with the Asian section. The Peninsula is flat in the northern two-thirds and mountainous in the south. Mount Catherine is the highest point in Egypt at 2629 meters.

Summers are scorching and dry in Egypt. The hot and dry Khamaseen wind blows in early summer from the southern deserts. The wind brings scorching dust and sand particles that keep daily high temperatures in the range of 40°C (104°F) to 50°C (122°F). The skies remain clear in much of Egypt during the summer. The relative humidity drops below 5% during periods of heatwaves. Prevailing northwesterly winds moderate temperatures along the northern coast. The average low temperatures are between 9.4°C (48.9°F) to 16.7°C (62.1°F) in the winter, and average high temperatures are in the range of 22.8°C (73°F) to 31.7°C (89.1°F) in the summer on the north coast. Winters are mild and sunny everywhere except for the cold in the mountains of the Sinai Peninsula at high altitudes. Night temperatures can drop below freezing in the desert. The Sinai Mountains and a few northern coastal cities see frost and snowfall in the winter.

Egypt receives little precipitation. The annual rainfall ranges from 20.3mm (0.8") to 203.2mm (8") along the Mediterranean Coast, and is negligible to the south of Cairo, in the central and southern parts. December and January are the wettest months of the year on the Mediterranean coast. The northern coast receives 3300 hours, while most of the country basks in over 4000 hours of annual sunshine. The average relative humidity is mostly below 50%, with heat waves a standard feature during the summer. The seawater temperatures in Sharm El Sheikh, on the Red Sea coast, vary in the range of 21.1°C (70°F) to 27.8°C (82°F). The ocean temperatures in Alexandria, on the Mediterranean coast, are in the moderate range of 17.2°C (63°F) to 26.1°C (79°F).

Aswan holds the record for the highest temperature of 51.1°C (124°F) in Egypt. Mount Catherine holds the record for the lowest temperature of -15°C (5°F).

The best time to visit Egypt

The best time to visit Egypt is during the winter from November to February. The days are warm and sunny, with moderate rainfall along the northern coast. Winter is the best season to visit Cairo and the Great Pyramids of Giza in the north. Luxor and Aswan in the south have high temperatures during the day but experience the best conditions of the year in December and January. Beach holidays are best in April, October, and November along the Red Sea coast. Mediterranean ocean waters are at their best during mid-October to mid-November when temperatures are in the range of 23.9°C (75°F) to 25°C (77°F). Although the atmosphere is pleasant in the winter, the seawater is cold for swimming and sunbathing.

The worst time to visit Egypt

The worst time to visit Egypt is generally in the summer from June to August. The interior areas with no rain and southern regions are scorching even in May and September. The average daily high temperatures in Aswan and Luxor are between 38.9°C (102°F) to 41.1°C (106°F) but scale highs of 48.9°C (120°F) when the hot Khamaseen wind blows from the south. The Red Sea coast registers average highs above 37.8°C (100°F) during peak summer. Alexandria and Cairo in the north are hot during the day, with average high temperatures in the 29.4°C (84.9°F) to 35°C (95°F). The Mediterranean seawaters register average temperatures of 20°C (68°F) in May and 26.1°C (79°F) in September.

Weather hazards

Egypt faces natural weather hazards, such as floods, droughts, earthquakes, landslides, and sandstorms. Scanty rainfall and water scarcity is the reason for droughts in the interior. Rockslides, such as the one in Cairo in 2009, cause severe damage to infrastructure and claim lives. Coastal flooding displaced thousands of people in 2010, with the destruction of over 4000 houses. Extremely high temperatures over 48.9°C (120°F) occur in the summer in the interior desert regions. The hot Khamaseen wind blows at speeds below 8km/h (5mph) from the southern deserts and carries hot sand and dust particles along with it. Sandstorm is a severe hazard in the summer that stalls all activities. Earthquakes are of moderate-intensity and mostly occur in the northern parts of Egypt and the west side of the Red Sea. A rare earthquake of magnitude 7.3 occurred in the Gulf of Aqaba in 1995.

Weather in Januar

January is the coldest month of the year in Egypt, with pleasant conditions along the northern coast. Alexandria registers average temperatures in the range of 8.9°C (48°F) to 17.8°C (64°F), with bright and sunny days. Rainfall is up to 55.9mm (2.2") in January, with occasional wet spells that clear up quickly.

Weather in Februar

February is mild and sunny in much of Egypt, with moderate rainfall along the Mediterranean coast. Alexandria sees nine wet days in the month that produce brief and light showers. Temperatures usually are in a pleasant zone of 8.9°C (48°F) to 18.9°C (66°F) with 8 hours of daily sunshine.

Weather in April

April is hot in much of Egypt except for the Mediterranean coast. The average temperatures are in the zone of 12.8°C (55°F) to 31.7°C (89.1°F) in the north, with scanty rainfall. Temperatures in the interior are between 17.8°C (64°F) to 35°C (95°F) on average and quickly scale 40.6°C (105.1°F) during the day. Weather in April »

Weather in Jun

June falls in the summer season of Egypt, with relentless sunshine and sweltering temperatures. Cairo registers average temperatures in the 20°C (68°F) to 33.9°C (93°F) range, with nearly a 100% chance of clear skies. Winds blow at less than 16.1km/h (10mph), predominantly from the northern direction. The sunrays are scorching during the day, which lasts for at least 14 hours.

Weather in Jul

July is hot and sunny in Egypt, with the heat at its peak. The only places short of the 37.8°C (100°F) mark lie on the northern coast. Alexandria registers average temperatures in the 22.8°C (73°F) to 30°C (86°F), with warm seawaters at 25°C (77°F).

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