The climate and seasons in Saudi Arabia

This helpful guide to the climate and seasons in Saudi Arabia will help you prepare for the country's unusual environment.
Saudi Arabia is mostly made up of a desert plateau and features the intense summers and slightly cooler winters that come with this topography. But centuries of experience have allowed the Kingdom to adapt well to its climate. This helpful guide provides everything you need to know about dressing appropriately and finding activities to do; according to the climate and seasons in Saudi Arabia.

The climate in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is surprisingly vast, however with most of the country being a desert-like plateau, weather conditions are usually fairly stable. The main climate differences can be felt between the coastal areas and the interiors. In most of the country, summers are hot and dry; winters are mild, on the other hand, with temperatures dropping at night, and rain can be expected at this time. The Kingdom's capital, Riyadh, experiences temperamental winters. Warm days turn into frigid nights, and summers are extreme with temperatures peaking at 47 degrees. However, low humidity offers some comfort. In the far north mountains, winters are cold and you might even experience snow. Meanwhile, in the coastal areas around the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, the climate remains warm and sultry all year.

Regional climate averages in Saudi Arabia
January is the depth of what passes for winter in Saudi Arabia, however, conditions can vary wildly in different regions. At this time of year, you could find rain and temperatures dropping as low as 6 degrees Celsius during the night in Mada'in Saleh. Meanwhile, Jeddah might experience tropical thunderstorms and balmy days, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius.
Of course, this is the country's rainy season. Most rainfall occurs between November and April. During this period, the central plateau, including Riyadh, sees a yearly average of 111mm. Meanwhile, drier parts of the country, such as Medina, only receive around 41mm.
Summers in Saudi Arabia are unstintingly intense. Average temperatures hover around 40 degrees Celsius, although the barometer has been known to peak at 50 degrees Celsius. The season is also unfailingly dry, with no rain and only moderate humidity. Although the summers are similar to those experienced in neighboring countries such as Oman, Jordan, and Iraq, the winters tend to be warmer. This is due to Saudi Arabia's geographical location; it is sheltered within the Red Sea and Persian Gulf and therefore does not benefit from the cool coastal breezes that other countries enjoy.
Although the amount of sunshine doesn't vary enough between the seasons to warrant daylight saving measures, there are generally longer days in summer and shorter days in winter. Most of the Kingdom receives between 9 and 12 hours of sun each day. In extreme areas, however, this can dip to as little as 7 hours and increase to as much as 14. As you would expect in the desert climate of Saudi Arabia, snowfall is extremely rare here, however, in the very far north of Turaif, and some altitudinous mountain regions, snow is a possibility if conditions are right.