Abu Dhabi, the capital and second largest city in the United Arab Emirates, is known for its hot desert climate with long, extremely hot summers. The hottest month in Abu Dhabi is August, with average high temperatures over 104°F (40°C) and average lows remaining a balmy 88°F (31°C).
Weather in Abu Dhabi
Located in the Arabian Desert, Abu Dhabi has a subtropical desert climate classified as BWh according to the Köppen climate classification. This means:
- Dry climate: low annual rainfall, averaging just 4 inches (100 mm) per year
- Desert climate: low relative humidity, very hot summers, warm winters
- Hot steppe climate: average annual temperature above 64.4°F (18°C)
The lack of rain and clouds leads to extreme shifts between day and night temperatures. However, humidity typically ranges 40–60% throughout the year.
Summer (June to September)
Summers are unrelentingly hot, sunny, and dry, with temperatures easily exceeding 100°F (38°C) most days.
The hottest month is August, with averages highs of 108°F (42°C) and lows of 88°F (31°C). However, temperatures frequently soar to as high as 113–122°F (45–50°C).
Cooling sea breezes provide some relief, especially in coastal areas. However, the Arabian Gulf waters remain quite warm during summer, reaching 90–95°F (32–35°C).
Winter (December to March)
Winters are warm and sunny, with average highs of 75–77°F (24–25°C) and average lows around 60°F (15°C). However, the desert cools off rapidly after sunset, with temperatures sometimes dropping as low as 41°F (5°C).
Occasional windstorms and rain showers happen during the winter months. However, total rainfall is only about 1 inch (25 mm) during the 3-month season.
Spring and Fall
During spring (March to May) and fall (October to November), temperatures are hot but more moderate than peak summer. Average highs range 85–100°F (29–38°C) while average lows range 65–75°F (18–24°C).
These shoulder seasons experience the most pleasant weather. Increased winds and blowing dust storms can happen but skies generally remain clear.
What Makes August the Hottest Month?
A few key factors contribute to make August the hottest month of the year in Abu Dhabi:
- Peak sunlight intensity as the sun is directly overhead
- Long duration of daylight hours
- Warm Arabian Gulf waters heating surrounding land areas
- Lack of cloud cover or rainfall
- High humidity adding to heat index
- Stifling overnight low temperatures providing little relief
By August, the sun has shifted to its most direct position for Abu Dhabi, which lies at 24°N latitude. With 12 hours per day of intense sunshine beating down, heat rapidly accumulates across the land.
The high humidity levels add to the oppressive heat. Furthermore, Arabian Gulf waters now reach their peak temperatures over 90°F (32°C), helping raise temperatures along the coastal regions of Abu Dhabi.
With largely clear skies throughout summer, sunlight and heat amass unobstructed day after day. The dry air and ground retain heat even overnight, leading to sweltering mornings. Thus, temperatures remain extremely hot around the clock in August.
So when combining ample sunshine, long days, high humidity, and consistently hot overnight lows, August takes the top spot for the hottest month in Abu Dhabi.
Coping with the Heat
Coping with the intense Abu Dhabi heat during August and summer takes some special measures:
Drinking sufficient water and hydrating fluids is essential. Carry water wherever you go and sip regularly even when not thirsty. Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol which can dehydrate.
Lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat better. Natural fabrics like cotton allow airflow to the skin. Sun protection like hats, glasses, and sunscreen lessen exposure.
Resting in shaded or indoor areas provides relief, especially during peak daylight hours. Many public spaces have water misters.
Time Outdoor Activities Carefully
If exercising outside, do so in early morning or late evening once the sun has set. Pace activities slowly with frequent breaks.
Take Advantage of Air Conditioning
Virtually every indoor space has air conditioning. Malls, museums, restaurants, transport, and homes stay well air-conditioned.
Check on Vulnerable People
Elderly, very young children, outdoor workers, and people with health conditions need extra precautions like monitoring for signs of heat exhaustion.
So while the sweltering August heat can be difficult, taking proper preventative measures helps residents and visitors of Abu Dhabi stay cooler and safer.
- With average highs over 104°F (40°C), August is the hottest month of the year in Abu Dhabi
- Long hours of intense sunshine combine with high humidity and consistently hot overnight lows leading to unrelenting heat
- Heat mitigation strategies include hydrating, dressing appropriately, resting in shade, timing activities early/late in day, and using air conditioning
- Advance planning and checking on vulnerable people allows for safely coping with the extreme August temperatures
Abu Dhabi endures intensely hot conditions for months on end every summer. But due to its arid desert climate, cloudless skies, and high humidity next to warm ocean waters, August unfailingly takes first place as the most consistently sweltering month.
Residents employ creative adaptations like air conditioned buildings or indoor skiing venues to combat the outdoor daytime heat. By better understanding the climate factors impacting August’s peak summertime temperatures, visitors and residents alike can make informed preparations or lifestyle adjustments needed to stay happy, active, and safe during Abu Dhabi’s extensive hot season.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the average temperature in August in Abu Dhabi?
Average daytime highs exceed 104°F (40°C) while nighttime lows only drop to about 88°F (31°C). Actual temperatures commonly soar about 113–122°F (45–50°C).
- Why is August hotter than June or July in Abu Dhabi?
August has the year’s maximum solar intensity and sunlight duration. Also the nearby Gulf waters are at yearly peak temperatures, further heating the surrounding land air.
- How much hotter does it get in August compared to June?
Average temps in June reach 106°F (41°C) for highs and 77°F (25°C) overnight. So August increases intensity with highs over 104°F (40°C) and lows around 88°F (31°C).
- What is the highest temperature ever recorded in Abu Dhabi?
The hottest reliably recorded temperature happened on July 21, 2018 reaching 121.1°F (49.2°C). During August, temperatures above 122°F (50°C) happen occasionally.
- Which areas of Abu Dhabi are hottest in August?
Coastal regions like central Abu Dhabi Island, Saadiyat Island, and Al Reem Island have slightly more intense heat due to the nearby very warm Arabian Gulf waters. Inland desert areas only a few degrees cooler.
- What weather factors make August so hot?
Sunlight intensity peaks in August as the sun is directly overhead Abu Dhabi plus daylight hours are longest. The dry air and grounds readily heat up. Also the high humidity levels add to heat index.
- Does it cool off at nighttime in Abu Dhabi during August?
Unfortunately overnight low temperatures only drop to around 88°F (31°C) on average, providing little cooling relief at nighttime. Occasionally dips as low as 77°F (25°C) happen.
- Is August very humid even though it’s so hot?
Yes, average humidity ranges between 50–60% during the summer. Since warmer air can hold more moisture, humidity remains moderately high despite intense heat.
- What strategies help deal with Abu Dhabi’s heat during August?
Staying well hydrated, wearing breathable clothing, resting in shaded/air conditioned areas, scheduling outdoor time carefully either early or late in the day, and checking on vulnerable people are key to coping.
- What are the best places to stay cool in Abu Dhabi during August?
Shopping malls, movie theaters, museums, and other indoor venues all stay well air-conditioned throughout summer’s peak heat. Most transport like taxis or public buses have A/C too.
- Does air quality decline during August heatwaves?
Yes, ground-level ozone often increases leading to pollution warnings. Those with respiratory issues should monitor air quality alerts. Otherwise skies remain crystal clear.
- Do people swim in the ocean during August despite hot water temps?
Many residents enjoy relaxing in the shallow, calm Gulf waters to cool down. But at surface temperatures over 90°F (32°C), it does not provide much relief without deeper diving.
- What kind of clothes are best for summer outdoor activities?
Lightweight, light-colored fabrics like cotton or linen allow airflow and reflect heat better. Many people wear kaftan robes or abayas, plus hats or scarves, to shield their skin outdoors.
- Is August an annual holiday month with many residents traveling abroad?
Yes, those who can often travel on vacation during late July through August to escape the persistently draining desert heat at home. School summer holidays fall during these months too.
- Are sandstorms or dust storms common during August?
Infrequent windstorms can kick up blowing sand that reduces visibility. But skies stay mostly clear; rainfall is virtually nonexistent in August – only 2-3mm total monthly.