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BBC Bristol Online > Richard Angwin's Weather
Wednesday 18th April 2001, 1130 BST
Sun, sand and searing heat
Roman temple
Temple ruins are among the highlights which attract tourists to Egypt
Egypt is four times the size of the United Kingdom.

Because it boundaries extend from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Sudan in the south, its climate varies greatly. But although some tourists venture into the searing heat of the Sahara desert, most confine their travels to the Red Sea coast and the Valley of the Nile.

That Egypt is one of the hottest and sunniest countries on the face of the Earth is hardly any great surprise.

Around Alexandria and the resorts that fringe the Mediterranean, summertime temperatures usually peak at around 31 Celsius (87F) but further south, in Aswan, temperatures average 41 Celsius (106F).

statue at Karnak
Many of Egypt's ancient statues have survived the centuries
In extreme conditions these temperatures soar to a very uncomfortable 44 Celsius (111F) in Alexandria and a dangerously hot 51 Celsius (124F) in Aswan.

Although there can be a few wet days each month along the Mediterranean coast, much of Egypt experiences little or no rainfall.

So with sunshine averaging eight to 10 hours each day in the winter and as much as 12 hours in the summer, the tourist can base their choice of time to visit solely on the likely temperatures.

With summer temperatures in excess of 35 Celsius (95F) touring the sites around Cairo can be very uncomfortable. But it should also be pointed out that January and February can be quite chilly months in Cairo and along the northern half of Egypt’s Red Sea coast.

Feluccas plying their trade on the Nile
Strong northerly winds can accentuate the lower temperatures so, surprisingly, you may find a warm, windproof jacket quite useful during these months.

Dust-laden winds can affect almost any part of the country between late March and June. These can give some very unpleasant conditions at times.

Taking everything into consideration, the most favourable months to visit Egypt are likely to be November and early March. These months are generally not too hot and daytime temperature unlikely to exceed the low thirties Celsius.

For those of a more adventurous disposition, who decide to venture into the desert regions, it must be borne in mind that night-time temperatures can fall to freezing at any time of the year.

With the searing heat of the day and (usually) a total lack of shade, the usual warnings about using a high factor sun block, drinking as much water as possible and keeping covered up are doubly important.
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Average weather conditions for Cairo

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Met Office five day forecast for Cairo

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- Vietnam - Egypt - Corsica - The Bahamas - Sri Lanka - Jamaica - New York - Bermuda - Chicago -
Reykjavik - Florida - Thailand - Canaries - Algarve - Prague -
Las Vegas
- Uganda - Zante

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