What is the Climate of the Middle East?

The climate of the Middle East is generally hot and arid (dry). However, snow and low temperatures are common in the mountains.

Much of the Middle East is desert. Daytime temperatures can reach over 52°C! At night, the deserts cool quickly, sometimes to below 0°C. The deserts of the Middle East are very dry, with less than 5cm of rainfall each year. The Rubʿ al-Khali (a large desert found in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, and Yemen) can experience a whole decade without rainfall! Some grasses, herbs, and shrubs have adapted to survive in dry conditions.

Some regions of the Middle East have a cooler and wetter climate, where a variety of grasses grow. These areas are known as grasslands or steppe. There are few other trees or plants except those near water sources. The gardens are very hot in summer and become cooler in the winter.

In parts of the Middle East (Turkey, northern Iran, and Lebanon), winters can be cold, especially at high elevations. Most rain and snow occur in the winter months. The heaviest precipitation falls along the Mediterranean coast and in the mountainous regions.

Rainfall can be very infrequent in the Middle East, resulting in severe water shortages.

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