Because of Egyptâ€™s position on the worldâ€™s map it experiences many different types of climate, from Mediterranean weather in the north, to tropical heat in the south, desert climate in the west to snow in the east. Because of these variations in weather, it is best describing each area separately.
The northern coastline of the Mediterranean can experience hot temperatures in the summer and very mild ones in the winter. The temperatures in Alexandria average between 27Â°C (80Â°F) in summer and 14Â°C (57Â°F) in winter. Though it can reach as high as 30Â°C (86Â°F), in the height of the summer, the cooling winds and breezes, that blow in from the Mediterranean Sea make it a lot more bearable. Most towns along the Mediterranean coastline experience the same weather, though some towns can have lower temperatures in the winter.
Because of it being along the Mediterranean coastline this area is more susceptible to rain, and it also has the most humidity in Egypt. The average rainfall in Alexandria is about 200mm annually, though most of this is between October and March.
Because they are further south, the coastlines of the eastern and southern Sinai and the eastern coastline of the Red Sea have great weather which has led to the building of many European-style resorts with some excellent diving centres, renowned the world over. There is very little rainfall here and it tends to be confined to the winter months only.
In the southern Sinai, Sharm El-Sheikh averages temperatures of 38Â°C (100Â°F) in the summer and 20Â°C (69Â°F) in the winter, with year long sunshine. Hurghada, on Egyptâ€™s eastern Red Sea coastline, experiences almost the same average temperatures and sunshine.
Further inland, on the Sinai Peninsula, temperatures change radically. Though the summer still has averages of well over 30Â°C (86Â°F), the winters can drop to as much as 1Â°C (34Â°F). The highest peaks in this region are often covered with snow.
The large triangle of land that has it widest edge along the Mediterranean coastline and its apex just above Cairo is called the Delta and it is here where Egyptâ€™s major â€œfood factoryâ€ lies. The River Nile splits into various smaller rivers here, as well as having many man-made canals which help irrigate the land as well as forming a basis for transportation. Because it covers such a large area it has varied temperatures that give many opportunities for different foods to be grown; barley, wheat, grapevines, figs, dates, olives ... the list of what can be, and is, grown is almost endless. From 200mm of annual rain in the north, to about 29mm of annual rain just north of Cairo this is the perfect place for growing food; and has been since pharaonic times.
From Cairo to Aswan the Nile Valley has a huge diversity of weather. Whilst Cairo boasts an annual rainfall of about 29mm, usually during November to March, with a slight humidity, Aswan can often go for years without any rain at all. Cairo has average temperatures of about 30Â°C (86Â°F) in the summer and 18Â°C (64Â°F) in the winter, whilst Aswanâ€™s are 40Â°C (102Â°F) and 21Â°C (69Â°F) respectively. Abu Simbel, the site of the 2 Temples of Ramses II and lies within the Tropic of Cancer, has temperatures of about 43Â°C (109Â°F) in the summer and 24Â°C (75Â°F) in the winter.
Luxor has average temperatures of 38Â°C (100Â°F) in the summer and 18Â°C (64Â°F) in the winter and like Aswan, can often go for years without rain. But thunderstorms and flash floods can occur unexpectedly and in the Valley of the Kings many of the ancient tombs have severely damaged by water.
THE WESTERN DESERT
Egyptâ€™s western desert is actually a continuation of the Sahara which terminates on the Red Sea coast, and so it experiences the highs and lows of its major part which lies across North Africa. This immense stretch of sand hosts an extremely harsh climate, which restricts life to the areas around the few oases. Daytime summer temperatures are scorching hot; they are known to have reached as high as 60Â°C (140Â°F), whilst the winters can drop to as little as 15Â°C (59Â°F). At nights the temperature can drop to the mid teens to just above freezing, with some daily variations showing how extreme this can be: swings from 37.5Â°C to -0.5Â°C (100Â°F to 31Â°F) have been recorded.
It is an arid region and so rainfall is almost at zero, though heavy falls of rain can occur, which is usually followed by years of drought. Again, this is more expected to occur in the winter. The eastern desert is more likely to get rain, due to its close proximity to the Red Sea.
One of the biggest dangers in the desert is sandstorms; where strong winds suck huge plumes of sand into the air. These plumes can often be as high as 6Km and scientific analysis has shown that they are often deposited as far away as London. During March and April, for about 5 days, there is a hot, dry desert wind called the Khamsin, which blows from the south and can cause unpleasant sand clouds across the country. Though it is primarily driven from the south, local winds can cause it to sporadically blow in different places.