The hot weather arrived with a vengeance last week.
Temperatures had been in the range of 100F – 105F for the last few weeks, which is hot enough for most. But, the mercury spiked upward to 115F – 122F throughout each of the last several days. Today is bit cooler at 108F. The outlook for the next 10 days is for the thermometer to settle in around 110F, give or take one or two degrees. That’s better than last week, but it’s only going to get hotter – not cooler.
I think many of us got spoiled last year, when the high temperatures seldom rose above 115F, and milder weather (95F – 105F) held until about June. Actually, it was cool and rainy into April of 2007. Riyadh really only had hot temperatures from late June through mid-September. However, if the last week is any indication, this is going to be a VERY hot summer.
The generally quoted Summer temperature ranges for Riyadh usually fall between 81F – 109F. However, as I’ve indicated previously, I personally witnessed sustained high temperatures in July, August and September exceeding 110F, and very often up around 115F. WorldTravels.com has a summary of Riyadh weather here.
The place is not unlike Phoenix or Las Vegas when it comes to weather. Anyone who lives in either place, or who visits either place often, will not be shaken by the weather. Those from milder climes may take a little longer to get used to it. The worst part, for me, is getting into my car after it has sat for any period of time out in the sun. We have covered parking spots at work, and those places fill up quickly. I go to work early (between 6am and 7am), so I don’t usually have a problem getting one of those places. But, if I need to run an errand during the day, or I go to a late lunch, it can sometimes be difficult to find a covered spot upon returning. The temperature difference can be, literally, 30F – 40F.
Still, it’s bearable, and there is air conditioning everywhere. I can’t imagine what it was like before the advent of air conditioning. I am sure I would be dressed more like the natives than the Westerner I am.