The Weather and Climate in Doha

Sandstorm in Doha Qatar
Amer Ghazzal / Getty Images

Doha lies in the subtropical zone, with a desert climate of low rainfall, very hot and humid summer temperatures, and mild winters. It is really not advisable to visit in the summer months, as going outside is virtually impossible, whereas the spring, fall, and winter months are comfortable and warm.

The best time to visit is between October and late April, when the sun shines, and the temperatures are just right. Even in the cooler months of December and January, the temperatures rarely go below 57 °F (13.8°C), whereas in the summer months, they regularly reach temperatures of 115 °F (46.1°C).

Fast Climate Facts:

  • Hottest Month: June and July, with temperatures reaching highs of 115 degrees F (46.1 degrees C) and not falling below 81 degrees F (27.2 degrees C).
  • Coldest Month: January with highs of 71 degrees F (21.6 degrees C) and lows of 57 degrees F (13.8 degrees C)
  • Wettest Month: January and February, both have an average rainfall of 0.7 inches (1.8 cm)
  • Windiest Month: June and July experience the Shamal wind of usually less than 30 miles per hour
  • Water Temperature: The water temperature ranges from 67°F (19.4°C) in January to 93 °F (33.8°C) in July.
  • Daylight Hours: Due to the sub-tropical location, the shortest and longest day of the year have a mere three hours’ difference. 

Spring in Doha

Early spring in Doha is one of the loveliest times to visit. The sun is shining, the temperatures are perfect for actually enjoying being in the sun, the water temperature is just right at around 78 degrees F (25.5 degrees C), and the flowers in the parks are in full bloom. March has a chance of rain but only a maximum of 5 percent, and the shamal is not blowing in spring. The days are getting a little longer, and the humidity is low. Toward the end of spring (May and early June), the temperatures are heating up, and humidity is increasing.

What to pack: Think loose layers and wraps. For the (slightly) cooler evenings, and the highly air-conditioned malls and cinemas, pack a light jacket or a pashmina, but in the daytime, thin clothes are fine.

Average temperatures by month:

  • March: 70.2 degrees F (21.2 degrees C)
  • April: 78.3 degrees F (25.7 degrees C)
  • May: 87.8 degrees F (31 degrees C)

Summer in Doha

Summer in Doha is hot and humid with temperatures regularly reaching 115 degrees F (46.1 degrees C). Add the warm Shamal wind and the odd sandstorm, and your admiration of people who call this place home (and have done so before the invention of air-conditioning) grows enormously. But if you are not one for sightseeing and are content to spend the day in a chilled hotel swimming pool—the sea gets to above 90 degrees F (30 degrees C)—and the remainder of the day inside in the air-conditioned rooms, then this might be doable.

What to pack: The lightest layers you have, loose clothing, natural fibers. But bring a pashmina for when you go inside as the air-conditioning can be fierce.

Average temperatures by month:

  • June: 93 degrees F (33.9 degrees C)
  • July: 94.5 degrees F (34.7 degrees C)
  • August: 93.7 degrees F (34.3 degrees C)

Fall in Doha

In late September, locals and expatriates return to the city after a summer break in cooler climates. Temperatures in Doha return to more acceptable levels, the water temperature decreases, and the humidity lowers. From October, the weather is perfect for sightseeing as well as spending days by the water.

What to pack: Similar to spring, think loose layers. Daytime still brings summer temperatures, but the air-conditioned malls and hotels can be chilly.

Average temperatures by month:

  • September: 90 degrees F (32.2 degrees C)
  • October: 84 degrees F (28.9 degrees C)
  • November: 75 degrees F (24.2 degrees C)

Winter in Doha 

Winter in Doha is, together with early spring and late fall, the best season to enjoy Doha. Temperatures are comfortably warm, with a light chill at night. There might be rain (the few rainy days in the tend to fall within winter), and there might be the winter shamal wind, bringing some dust, but on the whole, winter is perfect for exploring the city and the country.

What to pack: Stick to the layers, but add a cardigan and a wear your light jacket with a pashmina on top in the evening. It is still warm enough to swim in the sea, so don’t forget your bathing suit.

Average temperatures by month:

  • December: 66.6 degrees F (19.2 degrees C)
  • January: 62.6 degrees F (17 degrees C)
  • February: 64.2 degrees F (17.9 degrees C)

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours

  • January: 62.6°F (17 °C); 0.52 inches (1.32cm); 10.44 hours
  • February: 64.2°F (17.9°C); 0.7 inches (1.71cm); 11.15 hours
  • March: 70.2°F (21.2°C); 0.6 inches (1.61cm); 11.57 hours
  • April: 78.3°F (25.7°C); 0.3 inches (0.87cm); 12.43 hours
  • May: 87.8°F (31°C); 0.1 inches (0.36cm); 13.21 hours
  • June: 93°F (33.9°C); 0 inches; 13.40 hours
  • July: 94.5°F (34.7°C); 0 inches; 13.31 hours
  • August: 93.7°F (34.3°C); 0 inches;12.59 hours
  • September: 90°F (32.2°C); 0 inches;12.15 hours
  • October: 84°F (28.9°C); 0 inches (0.11cm); 11.30 hours
  • November: 75°F.6 (24.2°C); 0.1 inches (0.33cm); 10.52 hours
  • December: 66.6°F (19.2°C); 0.5 inches (1.21cm)l 10.34 hours

Shamal Wind

The Shamal (also Shimal) wind is a north-westerly hot, dry wind that blows nearly continuously during the summer months, especially in June and July. Whilst not usually reaching speeds of above 30 miles per hour, it picks up sand and dust, and causes at times bad sandstorms, which make life dusty and uncomfortable, with everything in Doha covered in a red dust.

A slightly cooler shamal can also blow in winter, and lasts usually for around three days at a time.

Sandstorms

Sandstorms are natural phenomenon in a desert country and make for quite a spectacle. However, they tend to be associated with the Shamal wind and do not last longer than three days. During a sandstorm, limit the time spent outside, cover your nose and mouth, and wear sunglasses to shield your eyes. The dust can cause and exaggerate sinus and respiratory problems and cause eye infections, especially if eyes are rubbed. It's best to stay indoors.

Flooding During Rain

Doha has an average annual rainfall of four inches per year, but when it does rain, it tends to come down hard and the local drainage system finds it hard to cope. During heavy rainfalls, the streets can flood severely, public buildings—even malls—often close due to leaking roofs, and schools give the children a day off during treacherous driving conditions. 

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