Weather in Makkah
Makkah weather is hot, dry and often unforgiving. Here’s what you can expect in terms of temperature and weather conditions during Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.
A desert country, Saudi Arabia can experience extreme weather. The temperature in Makkah, a city in a valley, seldom drops below 13°C (55°F) at night in January. Highs can climb over 43°C (110°F) during the day in June. For a successful Hajj or Umrah, it pays to be prepared for Makkah weather.
The lunar-based Hijri calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the West. As such, the dates of Hajj shift 10–11 days earlier each year. This results in varied weather conditions for pilgrims. Approximate dates for the upcoming Hajjes are 30 August–4 September 2017, 19–24 August 2018, 9–14 August 2019 and 28 July–2 August 2020. Until 2026, Hajj season will fall in the Kingdom’s hottest months.
Between late July and early September, the temperature in Makkah ranges from an average low of 28°C (82°F) to an average high of 40°C (104°F). The hottest time of the day is from 10am to 8pm, with a brief cool spell in the early morning.
Makkah does not have a discernable wet or dry season. Precipitation ‘peaks’ in November with about 2cm (0.8 inches) of rain. The driest months are June and September, with no significant rainfall. However, heavy rains and even flooding – accompanied by violent windstorms – do occur.
Hajj Weather Tips
Every year, some Hajj and Umrah performers suffer from heat exhaustion and sunstroke. Here are a few weather-related tips for staying healthy during a pilgrimage to Makkah:
• Wear loose, light-colored clothing.
• Use an umbrella.
• Carry a water bottle and stay hydrated.
• Avoid exposure to direct sunlight.
• Seek out air-conditioned spaces if you experience a headache, dizziness or heart palpitations.
• If possible, avoid performing Tawaf (circling the Kaaba) from midday to early evening. The coolest – and least crowded – time to enter Al Masjid Al Haram is from late evening until the Fajr dawn prayer.