Monday, August 29, 2016

Summer Weather in Qatar

Summer is more than halfway over, with luck the heat will break by October. Not surprisingly summers here are H-O-T, temps in the mid-40s are the norm. It makes mid-day pretty challenging to go outside for any length of time but if it is dry then the days are manageable. By evening it drops down to the mid-30s, not great, but okay. Unless it's humid.

As the old saying goes it's not the heat, it's the humidity. The humidity can vary widely in the summer, I think based on the wind direction (if from the sea then it's humid, if from the south where the desert is then it's dry. The humidity can make it unbearable, even in the evening. Just the other day I left a mall and walked maybe 200m to my car, and when I reached it I looked like I had jogged a mile. My clothes were drenched in a combination of condensation and sweat, and my forehead was dripping. Ugh. On humid days you can't even go outside in the evening for more than a couple of minutes, after which you look like someone poured water on you. Air conditioning is the greatest invention ever!

Of course there's also the risk of sandstorms. Usually they are larger storms from Saudi or Kuwait that you receive advance warning about but other times they can be quite sudden. Last week a thunderstorm in northern Qatar kicked up a lot of dust and sent it south into the city.

That wasn't the worst I'd seen but it was pretty bad. Thankfully because it was small it lasted maybe an hour or so; larger, slower storms can create a dusty haze that can last for days.

One plus about summer is that the weather drives the ex-pats away as tens of thousands head home to wait out the hot weather, returning when schools are back in session. This makes the traffic in Doha better and I'm not looking forward to after Eid when the traffic is again in full misery. My commute time to work will nearly double. It is for this reason that I actually prefer to stay in Doha for the summer. With the Eid holidays now in the summer I of course take vacations but if not for that I'd probably stay here over the summer without a vacation. I can handle the heat, but the traffic can be maddening when everyone returns.

No comments: