Jan 20, 2021
Riyadh: The weather guide for expats

Moving to Riyadh? You’ve probably heard a lot of things about how hot this city is. Indeed, most expats are not under any illusion about the weather conditions. Simply put, living in Riyadh is like living in a desert climate. So, be prepared to deal regularly with some of the most extreme summer temperatures.
As per the NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] from 2001-2012, the city has had the top fourteen “hottest years on record.” Here’s a gist of the weather:

Hottest period: July is the hottest month in Riyadh. During this period, the average temperature of 35.5°C (96°F) often stretches into the month of August.
Coldest period: The coldest months are December and January when the weather usually hovers at 15°C (59°F).
Wettest month: April is the wettest month of the year, with an average of 25mm of rain. 
What can you do to beat the heat?
Remember the health hazards prolonged exposure can cause. Even though there are fully functional air-conditioning facilities within the country, it is best to spend as much time indoors as possible during the peak sunny hours i.e., from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 
During your commute, you have to spend a minimal amount of time exposed to this heat. It is advised that you don’t schedule any non-business or non-essential activities at mid-day. Be assured, much of the social activity commerce from dusk hours. Kids also play during the early evening instead of the afternoon. In fact, if you are moving here with children, it is best to keep them rested during the afternoon hours or have them indoors. Most of the major shopping centers stay open late in the evening hours and have ample parking facilities near the entrances, so one does not have to spend a lot of time walking in the heat.
What clothing should you wear?
Even though you may want to avoid dark-colored clothing, sometimes they are essential for professional etiquette. Dark Western business suits are a preferred choice for an official meeting. Women are expected to be fully covered and almost all locals wear the abaya. 
Women can also use the abaya and hijab – a cloak-like covering to keep hair covered. Plus, it is a great way to prevent those headaches if you are exposed to the harsh sun. Wear skin-friendly clothing or materials like cotton, linen, etc., especially during the humid season when it rains. A light jacket or sweater is recommended in the winter months because the evening wind can be rather chilly.

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