Geography - Weather and Climate

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The Egyptian summer is hot and dry in most of the country, and humid in the Delta and along the Mediterranean Coast. In recent years the humidity has spread to Cairo, and the city swelters in August! Winter is mild with some rain, but usually it is bright, sunny days with cold nights. During the summertime, sun protection is the most important single consideration for an Egypt trip, especially for the fair-skinned. Wearing a sunhat is essential. Cheap, and pure cotton, sunhats are made locally and available everywhere. Travel clothing should be light and comfortable, 100% cotton clothing is the best and robust shoes are a must! The climate of Egypt is characterized by a hot season from May to October and a cool season from October to May. Extreme temperatures during both seasons are moderated by the prevailing northern winds. -In the coastal region average annual temperatures range from a maximum of 37° C (99° F) to a minimum of 14° C (57° F). Wide variations of temperature occur in the deserts, ranging from a maximum of 46° C (114° F), during daylight hours, to a minimum of 6° C (42° F) after sunset. During the winter season desert temperatures often drop to 0° C (32° F). The most humid area is along the Mediterranean coast, where the average annual rainfall is about 200mm. Precipitation decreases rapidly to the south; Cairo receives on average only about 29mm of rain each year, and in many desert locations it may rain only once in several years! There are 5 days called Khamsin between March and April, when sandstorms can occur sporadically, blowing in different places according to the wind direction. Winter (between October and May) weather is colder than most people anticipate, and cold winds blow over the desert at sunrise and sunset. Even when it is warm outside, it can be surprisingly cold inside the massive stone Temples. In winter, showers can fall everywhere, so bring a few items of light but warm clothing, so that you can cope with the cold early mornings and the occasional, and unseasonable, cold snap. Bring one or two dressy outfits along for evenings out, especially for parties, and special occasions or just to get out of your tour clothes! If you are staying in a hotel or on a cruise boat, please be warned that luxury hotels and all the Nile Cruises have efficient, but surprisingly pricey laundry services. If you object to paying 12LE for laundry, you can wash out your T-shirts; just bring some detergent with you, as well as a few yards of clothing line. Also bring a swimsuit, as most good hotels and cruise ships have nice, warm, swimming pools.  If you are heading out into the desert, you will get dry quickly, so make sure that you have a good stock of water with you. Egyptian mineral water is available everywhere at less than 3LE per bottle. Remember to cover your head at all time.

Throughout Egypt, days are commonly warm or hot, and nights are cool. Egypt has only two seasons: a mild winter from November to April and a hot summer from May to October. The only differences between the seasons are variations in daytime temperatures and changes in prevailing winds. In the coastal regions, temperatures range between an average minimum of 14° C in winter and an average maximum of 30° C in summer.  

Temperatures vary widely in the inland desert areas, especially in summer, when they may range from 7° C at night to 43° C during the day. During winter, temperatures in the desert fluctuate less dramatically, but they can be as low as 0° C at night and as high as 18° C during the day.  

The average annual temperature increases moving southward from the Delta to the Sudanese border, where temperatures are similar to those of the open deserts to the east and west. In the north, the cooler temperatures of Alexandria during the summer have made the city a popular resort. Throughout the Delta and the northern Nile Valley, there are occasional winter cold spells accompanied by light frost and even snow. At Aswan, in...
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