CAIRO: As Muslims brace themselves for Ramadan, which, for the first time in 33 years, will fall in the summer, meteorologists are partially quelling concerns that August’s scorching heat will make fasting harder.
As Egypt witnessed extreme heat waves this summer with temperatures sometimes exceeding 40ºC, Muslims fear the same trend will continue through the holy month.
Forecasters say the weather in Ramadan, which is expected to start this Friday or Saturday, is going to be moderate especially over the northern coast of Egypt with temperatures ranging between 30ºC and 33ºC during the first half of the holy month.
Average temperatures expected for the second half are 27ºC for the northern coast, 30ºC for Cairo and 37ºC for Upper Egypt.
Temperatures are going to be within the normal range this year, said Ali Qotb, head of the analysis department at the Egyptian Meteorological Authority.
“Heat waves are expected during the first half of the month raising the average temperature by 3°C; although it will differ from city to city, he added.
According to Qotb, the weather will be relatively hot in Cairo, Delta, Minya and Assiut, however, temperatures will cool down at night and the early hours of the morning nationwide.
Humidity is expected to remain within the normal rates at 80 percent in the morning and 30 percent at noon.
With daytime reaching 14 hours, Qotb said that temperatures will be at their highest between 12 pm and 3 pm.
“People are advised to avoid staying under the sun at this time, Qotb said.
Egypt is scheduled to set the clock back one hour before Ramadan, as opposed to late September like it does every year.
Qotb also predicted light rain during the second half of Ramadan.
“Temperatures will decrease gradually during the second half as we enter autumn at the end of the month, accompanied by wind on the Red Sea coast, Qotb said.
Qotb urged people to avoid crowded areas and stay in open spaces as much as possible and to drink a lot of water after iftar.