Time and weather

Time Zone

Egypt is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2) and operates Daylight Savings Time or Summer Time (+1 hour) from the last Friday in April until the last Friday in September.  However, last summer Egypt did not have summer time as Ramadan is falling in summer at the moment and summer time is usually suspended during Ramadan so as not to make fasting more difficult.  Last summer it would have made the time changes numerous and crazy.  I suspect it may be suspended again in the summer to come.

Weather & Temperature
Egypt has year-round sun. In cities like Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh, it is expected to rain in winter since they have a more Mediterranean climate than the rest of the country.

Daytime temperatures range from pleasantly warm in the winter to very hot in the summer.  Northerly cities such as Cairo and Alexandria are generally 5 – 10°C cooler than southerly areas such as Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel.  Nights in the desert can be extremely cold.

The two large pyramids in the sunlight and the small pyramid in shadow

The pyramids in sunlight and shadow

It seems to me that 2011-12 has been colder in winter than last year and sometimes it was very cold with snow even falling near Alexandria.  So you can get variation, like everywhere else.  Cairo and the south have basically little or no rain but you can expect rain on the Mediterranean coast.  Still sometimes there are storms and resulting flash floods and damage. The Red Sea coast is more moderate all year round, almost perfect really.

Cairo averages as high as 35C in summer (day) and as low as 8 or 9C on winter nights.
Luxor averages 41 or 42C in summer and as low as 5C on winter nights
While Aswan is well over 40C in summer, winter days average around 23- 24C – no wonder it’s Egypt’s winter resort.
Sharm and the Red Sea coast is a little cooler than Cairo in summer and a little warmer in winter – very nice!

Rainbow over the pyramids

Rainbow over the pyramids at Giza

It is worth mentioning that in March and April there are days of the khamseen, the desert wind that blows the sand almost horizontal but this usually only lasts a couple of days at a time, sometimes only one day.  Again, this winter we had more sandstorms than previously, even in January.

Sandstorm in Giza

Sandstorm in Giza


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