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Happy to Have UAE Summers in Our Rearview Mirror

May 3rd, 2016 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Languedoc, UAE

Abu Dhabi hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) for the first time this year, on Friday last.

April 29, that is, as reported in The National.

And the seemingly eternal summer of the Persian Gulf is under way.

And how do we feel about that?

Thankful we no longer live there. We survived six summers in the UAE and that was enough.

This part of southern France is known for being warm in the summer, but this is “reasonable” warmth.

Not Gulf warmth, which through October ranges from “extreme” to “rivers-of-molten-lava hot”.

The closest big city to where we are in the Languedoc is Montpellier, and in that city’s history the hottest day on record reached … 99 degrees.

The hottest day there last year was 98.6. Thus, this area has not known 100 degrees since people began recording temps.

The average highs in July and August, the hottest months, are 85. In September, the average high falls back to 77.

In the UAE, 98.6 will be astonishingly mild any time from now until November.

The National’s story about the UAE cracking 40 Celsius quotes residents talking about the heat. One woman said she cancelled an out-of-doors event because it was impossible, at 10 a.m., to sit outdoors for 10 minutes. A man in Dubai said he almost fainted during the 15-minute walk to the metro station (“It seemed like an unending journey”) and said he would be giving up that for the duration.

And heat in Abu Dhabi several days per year can approach 50 Celsius — or 122 Fahrenheit.

The UAE heat is even tougher to handle because humidity in the evenings can rise to 85 or 90 percent … and when the wind blows, it kicks up particulates that make the air some of the most dangerous in the world to breathe.

Pretty much, it drives everyone inside for half the year.

The temperature tomorrow, here in southern France, is expected to be the highest it has been this year — a balmy 75. (It was 72 today). But rain is forecast for the weekend. We are not getting used to too much sun yet.

So, yes, we are happy to be out of the microwave oven that is the United Arab Emirates … and the six months of unbearable heat that are only just beginning.




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