Weather in Egypt
Pyramids, deserts, pharaohs, the Nile River, the Red Sea and the Sphinx all come to mind at the mention of Egypt. This North African country is steeped in history and maybe even a little mystery. Egypt shares borders with Israel and the Red Sea to its east, Libya to the west, Sudan in the south and it’s northern border runs along the Mediterranean Sea. The climate and weather in Egypt can be divided into four regions.
The Sahara desert covers a significant portion of Egypt’s territory. The desert is split into two by the Nile, which enjoys a different climate to the rest of Egypt. Cairo’s climate is largely determined by the weather in the Nile Delta and the Nile Valley. Scuba divers or those keen on a diving holiday in Egypt tend to watch the weather along the Sinai Peninsula and the coast of the Red Sea. The fourth climatic zone in Egypt is the Mediterranean coast, which spans the northern part of Egypt.
What is the best time of year to visit Egypt?
The weather in Egypt tends to be hot throughout the year. This is mainly attributed to the large tracts of the Sahara Desert. However there are a few exceptions, the desert can get quite chilly at night and some parts of Egypt even experience snowfall during the winter months.
The best time to visit Egypt tends to be in spring and summer when temperatures are slightly cooler than the summer highs. The weather in Egypt during the summer months of June July and August are the hottest months in Egypt. Meanwhile winter weather in Egypt is usually slightly cooler with the rainy season falling from December and January.
Climate and weather in Egypt: The Sahara Desert
Desert climates across the world are characterised by hot daytime temperatures and much lower overnight temperatures. Summer temperatures in Egypt in the Sahara Desert can reach over 50°C (122°F), but winter temperatures in the desert drop to an average of 15°C (59°F). Egypt has a number of higher altitude areas in the Sahara Desert. The desert climate varies slightly in these areas as the altitude makes for lower temperatures that often drop below freezing in winter. The Jilf al Kabir Plateau in southwest Egypt is one such area.
While rain is uncommon in the desert, one common extreme weather condition in Egypt’s desert regions is sandstorms. These are particularly common during March and April. Visitors travelling to Egypt to see the desert should avoid the peak summer months of July and August, as well as the windy months in spring. The best time to visit the Sahara in Egypt is in May, June, September, October and November.
Climate and weather in Egypt: Nile and the Nile Delta
The Nile is the life blood of Egypt. It supports most of the country’s agriculture and most of the Egyptian population lives quite close to this holy river. A key city along the Nile is Egypt’s capital, Cairo. The climate and weather in Cairo is hot and dry. Temperatures in Cairo in winter average around a low of 15°C (59°F), but in summer the average high temperature hovers just below 30°C (86°F). The best time to visit Cairo and the Nile Delta in Egypt is in autumn, winter and spring: September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April and May. Cairo and the Nile region in Egypt experience a desert climate. Egypt’s weather patterns tend towards winter rainfall in Cairo, however the amount of rain is generally inconsequential.
Climate and weather in Egypt: The Red Sea and Sinai Peninsula
The Red Sea is a popular diving destination in Egypt. The weather in this part of Egypt lends itself to fun-filled relaxing days spent in resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh, El Gouna, Marsa Alam and Hurghada. The hot and dry climate in Egypt extends to this part of the country. Summer tends to be incredibly hot with the mercury often rising above 40°C (104°F) in July and August. Winter in Egypt is definitely the more attractive season, with comfortable temperatures ranging between 15 and 24°C (59 to 75°F). Most of the rainfall experienced along the Sinai Peninsula and Red Sea coast takes place at the end of winter and into early spring.
Climate and weather in Egypt: the Mediterranean Coast
Egypt’s climate along the Mediterranean coast is very similar to the weather experienced throughout the country. Summers, in June, July and August, are particularly hot; while winters, in November, December and January, experience much milder and more comfortable temperatures. The average high temperature in Alexandria, which is situated on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, is 28°C (82°F). While winter temperatures in Alexandria average 15°C (59°F). With cool onshore breezes, the weather in Egypt’s coastal areas is particularly pleasant. However, unpleasant desert winds are common during March and April. Late summer and early winter are the best times to visit Egypt’s Mediterranean region.
What to pack
The predominantly desert climate in Egypt means that visitors should stick to light and cool clothes when packing for a holiday in this North African country. Linen clothes that are light but cover the whole body are advisable as the sun can be very harsh regardless of season or time of year. Holidaymakers travelling to Egypt’s resort towns or coastal areas should pack swimwear and beach necessities such as suncream, sunglasses and perhaps even a wide-brimmed hat. The evenings can cool down quite considerably so a light cardigan or jersey is a wise item to pack for a holiday to Egypt, particularly when travelling in the winter months.